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Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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

marshmallow creep posted:

And all of them are basically descended from mutant trolls if I remember one bit of lore from a decade ago.

..that's.. literally the last thing he said.

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Simian_Prime
Nov 6, 2011

When they passed out body parts in the comics today, I got Cathy's nose and Dick Tracy's private parts.

Skellybones posted:

Humans being the inbred manlet children of Norse Giants who were kicked out onto a different continent for being deeply uncool is my #3 reveal.

#2 is that gnomes evolved from robots.

Was that to explain why all the humans in WoW has big, knuckle-dragging gorilla arms?

RocknRollaAyatollah
Nov 26, 2008

Lipstick Apathy

theironjef posted:

Isn't "militaristic orcs that like some technology and aren't evil" what WOW orcs are after their curse is broken?

Wouldn't that be the Legion from Fragged Empire? They're also trying to break away from being an entirely military based society so they don't die out as a species.

I really want to have a Legion NPC who was lied to by a recruiter in a Corp mall and ended up being stuck as a farmer for a couple years.

I like that WoW surrendered to the most generic of fantasy RPG tropes of having a bunch of elf offshoots instead of making an original race. Do they even have a unique or innovative one in the game? I don't really consider the draenei that unique because they're just crystal loving tieflings.

Mystic Mongol
Jan 5, 2007

Your life's been thrown in disarray already--I wouldn't want you to feel pressured.


College Slice

Kurieg posted:

Of course not, they weren't Metzen's 2nd favorite character.

In Legion they finally had Thrall get some kind of comeuppance for claiming neutrality but only actually being neutral when it benefited him.

Thank heavens the gods protect the people of Azeroth from realpolitik, but not from war or disease or kobolds.

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

Mystic Mongol posted:

Thank heavens the gods protect the people of Azeroth from realpolitik, but not from war or disease or kobolds.

WoW in general has issues with leaders being responsible for horrible poo poo then blinking at you in confusion when you think they should be held to account for it. It's one of the perpetually recurring arguments in the lore thread in the WoW subforum, which is where this chat should go unless someone's going to discuss the WoW tabletop RPG books.

Ratoslov
Feb 15, 2012

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

RocknRollaAyatollah posted:

I really want to have a Legion NPC who was lied to by a recruiter in a Corp mall and ended up being stuck as a farmer for a couple years.

Nah, the greatest heroes of the Legion these days are those who make the greatest sacrifice of not going to war. He was pretty unhappy about it when it happened, but now you can't get him to shut up about his encyclopedic knowledge of crops and that time that no poo poo, there he was in the field and he had to get rid of a bad space badger infestation without razing the entire farm.

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.

RocknRollaAyatollah posted:

I really want to have a Legion NPC who was lied to by a recruiter in a Corp mall and ended up being stuck as a farmer for a couple years.

RocknRollaAyatollah
Nov 26, 2008

Lipstick Apathy

Ratoslov posted:

Nah, the greatest heroes of the Legion these days are those who make the greatest sacrifice of not going to war. He was pretty unhappy about it when it happened, but now you can't get him to shut up about his encyclopedic knowledge of crops and that time that no poo poo, there he was in the field and he had to get rid of a bad space badger infestation without razing the entire farm.

:golfclap:


:thejoke:

It's just a rethemed version of this tweet.
https://twitter.com/jackdwagner/status/903446214397509632
Fragged Empire has some of the best world building I've seen in an RPG lately.

megane
Jun 20, 2008



The Legion are great and basically put all other orc types to shame. Bunch of soldiers walking down the street and stopping to salute an interior decorator. You da real hero :911:

Tibalt
May 14, 2017

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

I'd love it if a far future transhuman game just had the twist be that each society was lovely and terrible in exactly the way you'd expect. Post-currency culture that relies on reputation and social norms? Hope you're not the Freaks and Geeks of Station Mean Girls. Hypercapitalist arcology? The only art and culture are decadent displays of wealth and graffiti. Libertopia with no laws? The local warlord keeps turning it into a pirate and slaving port.

Daeren
Aug 17, 2009

YER MUSTACHE IS CROOKED

Tibalt posted:

I'd love it if a far future transhuman game just had the twist be that each society was lovely and terrible in exactly the way you'd expect. Post-currency culture that relies on reputation and social norms? Hope you're not the Freaks and Geeks of Station Mean Girls. Hypercapitalist arcology? The only art and culture are decadent displays of wealth and graffiti. Libertopia with no laws? The local warlord keeps turning it into a pirate and slaving port.

tbh that's exactly Eclipse Phase even if the writers often don't seem to realize that

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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

Tibalt posted:

Libertopia with no laws? The local warlord keeps turning it into a pirate and slaving port.

The fact that he "keeps" doing this leads to the mental image of some benevolent outside force that keeps coming back and undoing it, probably with deep knowing sighs and eye rolling like an annoyed parent.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

Kurieg posted:

The fact that he "keeps" doing this leads to the mental image of some benevolent outside force that keeps coming back and undoing it, probably with deep knowing sighs and eye rolling like an annoyed parent.

PC parties gotta do something.

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.
Yeah i got it, its a good joke so i figured I'd post the art so everyone could enjoy it.

Kulkasha
Jan 15, 2010

But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Likchenpa.

RocknRollaAyatollah posted:

I like that WoW surrendered to the most generic of fantasy RPG tropes of having a bunch of elf offshoots instead of making an original race. Do they even have a unique or innovative one in the game? I don't really consider the draenei that unique because they're just crystal loving tieflings.

Waaaay back when Warcraft 3 came out, the OG Night Elves were so different from generic drow that Blizzard got general praise for their design, IIRC.

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

Kurieg posted:

..that's.. literally the last thing he said.

Woops, I was distracted and didn't finish reading the post before I responded.

Demon_Corsair
Mar 22, 2004

Goodbye stealing souls, hello stealing booty.
Thinking about orcs as Roman legions, has any game really thought about what large scale military tactics would look like when mages can drop meteors, poison clouds, or mind control generals?

I guess you would see small scale unit tactics similar to the modern day.

Now I'm imagining a charge by a group of knights or cataphracts being stopped dead by a well placed stone to mud spell.

Obligatum VII
May 5, 2014

Haunting you until no 8 arrives.

RocknRollaAyatollah posted:

Wouldn't that be the Legion from Fragged Empire? They're also trying to break away from being an entirely military based society so they don't die out as a species.

I really want to have a Legion NPC who was lied to by a recruiter in a Corp mall and ended up being stuck as a farmer for a couple years.

I like that WoW surrendered to the most generic of fantasy RPG tropes of having a bunch of elf offshoots instead of making an original race. Do they even have a unique or innovative one in the game? I don't really consider the draenei that unique because they're just crystal loving tieflings.

The Ethereals were cool, but I'm a sucker for energy races. they proceeded to do jack all with them after Burning Crusade, to my knowledge.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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

Obligatum VII posted:

The Ethereals were cool, but I'm a sucker for energy races. they proceeded to do jack all with them after Burning Crusade, to my knowledge.

An Ethereal played a big role in the most recent patch, actually.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.

Obligatum VII posted:

The Ethereals were cool, but I'm a sucker for energy races. they proceeded to do jack all with them after Burning Crusade, to my knowledge.

They're back right now. Taking advantage of the collapse of the planet Argus to harvest void for whatever reason. They just turned Alleria into the new subrace, Void Elves. They've got some cool new models, too.

ZeroCount
Aug 12, 2013


Demon_Corsair posted:

Thinking about orcs as Roman legions, has any game really thought about what large scale military tactics would look like when mages can drop meteors, poison clouds, or mind control generals?

I guess you would see small scale unit tactics similar to the modern day.

Now I'm imagining a charge by a group of knights or cataphracts being stopped dead by a well placed stone to mud spell.

D&D wizards pretty much invalidate armies.

Skellybones
May 31, 2011




Fun Shoe

Demon_Corsair posted:

Thinking about orcs as Roman legions, has any game really thought about what large scale military tactics would look like when mages can drop meteors, poison clouds, or mind control generals?

Just as much as fantasy settings also explore what happens when the upper classes have access to equipment, spells, retainers, potions etc that make them functionally immortal superhumans that can literally look down on the peasantry from flying castles.

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010

Lipstick Apathy

Demon_Corsair posted:

Thinking about orcs as Roman legions, has any game really thought about what large scale military tactics would look like when mages can drop meteors, poison clouds, or mind control generals?

I guess you would see small scale unit tactics similar to the modern day.

Now I'm imagining a charge by a group of knights or cataphracts being stopped dead by a well placed stone to mud spell.

You can still have armies, but you're counting on strength of numbers: the Wizard only has so many spell slots, and can only hit so many units at a time, and statistically speaking not every fireball is going to take out an entire platoon since someone in there is going to make their saves.

(the above view trends a little towards rules-as-physics)

A general could be mind-controlled, but a general is probably high-level enough to be somewhat resistant to such spells, or would necessarily have mind-isolating helmets to begin with.

Small-unit tactics would require that you have heavy weaponry (read: also Wizards) of your own, the same way that the only reason you can approach a machine gunner is because you have your own machine gun to suppress them back. Now, if magic really was widespread and as common as an LMG with every squad, then yeah, maybe you'll get the medieval equivalent of fire-and-maneuver-but-with-lightning-bolts. But in a world where magic is powerful AND rare, then I would expect that standing armies are still capable of reaching the Wizard before they're all burned down.

gradenko_2000 fucked around with this message at 06:33 on Jan 3, 2018

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

Secure. Contain. Protect.
Fallen Rib
"We are now threatened with a fireball gap that leaves us in a position of potentially grave danger."

Down With People
Oct 31, 2012

The child delights in violence.


BREAD OR STONE – PART 4

Breadcrumb Trail

Dr. Moric has set up a nice little treasure hunt for his daughter to find research materials. The random words on the note are actually rough directions; asking a local or looking at a map will point the investigators to Zvonarska Street. There's a lot of shops here, but of interest to the group is a bookshop. If they remember Moric's letter, they'll think to ask the shopkeeper for a copy of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. The last copy they had was sold last week and was reserved for the customer's daughter to pick up – naturally, it's for Jazmina. Tucked inside is a note directing them to Pouzdan Zalihi warehouse, as well as telling them that the key they need is 'submerged in the nearby Roman bath.'

Vinkovci was once a Roman city and there are ruins of an ancient bath house, but it's nowhere near the warehouse. Instead, the investigators want to check out the park across the street, in particular the birdbath topped with a statue of Emperor Valens. An investigator who's willing to roll up their sleeves and go fishing around in the muck at the bottom is rewarded with the key. The warehouse is very big on security, but with the key and some personal information from Jazmina, the team can access the stuff Moric's left behind in Lot 187.

There's a big crate in the lot that has all the really juicy cool bits found in the Crusader's Tomb. This includes one of Judas' thirty pieces of silver, a bunch of rare scrolls and grimoires and Moric's notebook containing his observations. The notebook is a slim little tome that lacks spells but only takes a few days to study (if you can read Serbo-Croatian). In addition, one of the scrolls is The Accounts of Tillius Corvus. This is a Latin manuscript detailing the actions of a unit of elite scouts under the command of the titular Tribuni Comites Corvus, the Byzantine soldiers who fought Unwen and the horrors he created with the Mims Sahis. Corvus struck down Unwen but was splattered with the sorcerer's blood and thereafter entered a deep coma. When he woke up, he was no longer human. After that, the scrolls are written by someone else describing Corvus' atrocities and his subsequent exile from Constantinople. Reading the Accounts activates the Sanguis Omnia Vincet scenario.

Moric's notebook also describes the Mims Sahis (which the Noble Shield called the Serpent's Claw) and that he plans to contact Belenzada and destroy the blade in a local cement factory. That's the last entry.



I Was Working In The Lab Late One Night

The expectation is that from here, the investigators will launch an attack on Belenzada's facility. However, Total Party Kill mentions in their review that their players were extremely reluctant to do that, for a lot of reasons. First of all, there's no Simulacrum piece here, and Belenzada's lab is extremely well-guarded – both by his veterans and now a few cudoviste. There's also no confirmation that the cudoviste are actually Belenzada's creations, and the man's clearly got benevolent intentions. Playing through Sanguis Omnia Vincet helped their players make their decision; otherwise, just make sure yours really read the Accounts so they can see what happens when you gently caress with the Mims Sahis.

As mentioned, breaking into the facility is no easy gig. As well as creating more cudoviste, Belenzada has actually fixed his veterans by replacing their missing parts with parts sourced from a chimpanzee. The three of them feel great and look terrible, SAN 1/1D4 to see them. The exact numbers and placement of the cudoviste is up to the keeper, but there should be one placed near Belenzada's lab.

Alternatively, the investigators might think of a way to link Belenzada with the LPV enough for Captain Karkunica to take an interest. He finds it unlikely that a noted Serbian war hero would be associated with Croatian terrorists, but sends a detachment of soldiers to check out the facility. Outraged to find the gates sealed against him, he orders them torn off by a truck before sending his men in. In addition, the Wolves might scale the walls and try to find the Mims Sahis. They can all have fun fighting the cudoviste and freak chimp hybrids while the investigators sneak through to Belenzada.

The good doctor is in his surgical lab. When they find him, Belenzada is working on his latest horror show, a half-finished monster moaning on his slab while he stands ankle deep in a pool of blood and twitching gibbets – SAN 1/1D6 to see this. He doesn't stop working even if there's screams and gunfire outside, but when the investigators rock up he shouts at them to get out. If they try to kill him, Belenzada's an ex-military wacko with a gun and a magic weapon, but he shouldn't be too hard for a whole team of investigators to take down.

Alternatively, Belenzada's not totally insane yet. If the investigators put the guns down and stay calm, Belenzada will actually listen to reason. If they challenge him, he tries to justify his actions; the Mims Sahis will let him save hundreds or even thousands of lives, so he had to kill Moric for the greater good. It'll take a Psychology and a Persuade roll to get him stop and see that this situation is totally hosed. Belenzada has a break-down when he realises what he's become, and will beg the investigators to destroy the blade. Weeping, he summons any surviving cudoviste to him, who will loyally wait as he shoots each one in the head. He saves the last bullet in his revolver for himself. If the investigators stop him, he'll turn himself in to the police and confess everything – that is, if any surviving Wolves don't get to him first and torture him to death for profaning the sacred knife.



Crusher Destroyer

Moric planned to take the Mims Sahis to the Bulatovic Cement Factory and feed it into a hydraulic rock crusher. This is probably the best bet for the investigators too. They'll need to break into the factory after-hours, but since it doesn't even have guards this should be easy. More difficult is finding the right machine – anyone with Operate Heavy Machine 30+ can instantly identify and operate the machine, otherwise they'll need to make two rolls to first identify then use it. Like a lot of skills regarding specialised expertise that starts at 01% so uh, have fun.

Also, if the Wolves haven't attacked yet or if there's any still alive, this is where they'll come in. They will fight to the death for the Mims Sahis.

When the Mims Sahis reaches the teeth of the rock crusher, the machine jams and then groans as it tries to break down the artefact. Suddenly, it shatters into hundreds of pieces and is soon ground down to dust. As this happens, the air is filled with static electricity shortly preceding a massive explosion. Smart investigators will already be a safe distance away. Otherwise, they take anywhere from 1-3D6 damage from debris and bolts of arcane energy. Everyone within the radius must also make a Hard Power roll or else suddenly find themselves trapped in a vivid nightmare where they are chained to a stone pillar in a cavern and ritually flayed alive repeatedly for what feels like a year, thus causing them to lose...wait, only 1D6 SAN? For a year of supernatural torture? Okay whatever.

Next time: what if knife good?

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



BOOK THREE: Part Three

Or

If I Don't Call It Morality I Can't Get In Trouble For Bad Morality Mechanics


Dramatic Systems

Here are some charts. Read them if you care to in addition to the bullet points. In short, most of this chapter amounts to:
  • Rounds last for three seconds or up to six.
  • Don't get set on fire or electrocuted.
  • Roll your Fortitude vs. the potency of drugs to see how they affect you. The effects of drug potency is cumulative; reduce the potency by the amount you're reducing the dose or increase by how many doses you're taking.
  • Virility of a drug is just how many Fortitude/Resolve successes across many rolls it takes to suppress one of the effects of a drug for a single round (except taking damage).
  • Infectiousness of an illness is how many Fort successes you need to avoid infection.
  • Speed of a disease is how often one needs to make a Fort roll to resist Potency. Lifespan is how many times one will make rolls to resist, max, before you're fully cured.
  • Disease damage is dealt either as a flat amount of Health Pips lost per failed roll until death or you lose X Pips where X=the amount of Potency not covered by success in a Fort roll.
  • No disease ever says which kind of those damages it deals.
  • Don't drown or fall from heights.





  • Blunt damage is bruise damage and heals up to 2/3rds of all of your bruise damage at the rate of 1 Pip per half hour. The other 1/3rd is beholden to normal healing rules. Bruise damage that exceeds your health knocks you out.
  • Anything worse requires long-term healing where you take it easy and heal 1 Pip per day. Or you can go to a hospital heal 3-6 Pips every 2 days...at the cost of having to roll increasingly harder Resolve rolls to basically not catch Victorian MRSA or any other diseases that might be in the ward.
  • Poison and disease counts as bruise damage if you go to the doctor.




Fate Points

Ah yes, the luck mechanic. You have X amount of Fate Points depending on your species and depending on how well your Complications play to the story. You can only get 1 Fate Point per complication per session and free Complications can't be leaned on for points. They also automatically refresh per session and don't roll over between them. So what exactly do they do?
  • Add an automatic success for a roll per point spent up to three points...and these successes can be eaten up by penalty dice from black dice.
  • Reduce damage from an attack...to a minimum of 1 point, you're not allowed to fully negate an attack, it still hit you, shut up.
  • Burn points to stay awake when you should be KO'd instead of making Resolve+Fort rolls.
  • Act as extra rounds to stay alive by burning one point per round.
  • Boost another player's rolls...by spending double the amount up to 6 points. Which doesn't exactly say if you're boosting them with +3 successes or +6, the phrasing is ambiguous.
Two and three are alright and expected, especially with how often you're likely to refresh your pool. Not a huge fan of the "well actually" caveats of 1, 4 and 5. They seem obviously patched in after play testing. You're also supposed to get an increase in your overall pool at the end of an adventure as long as you were actively engaging with the story.

But hey if you have 6 Fate Points, you can turn those into a single scripting die! Keep in mind only a human can start play with enough Fate Points to have a scripting die by having 7 FPs. So what do these beauties do?
  • Reroll a single roll or effect! That's it!
  • Avoid permanent injury!
  • Cheat death! But you still took damage just barely shy of killing you!
  • Grab the story's reins to twist it into narrative convenience for the players as long as A: the GM can veto it, B: if they can explain why they got a break and C: it can't change what already happened.
And that's it. That's all Scripting Die can do.

THE CELESTIAL ENGINE

Centrism is the answer. Goodnight everybody!

No really you gotta live in Harmony between Entropy and Order. Swinging too far in either direction either makes you a Liberator or a Templar, respectively. A world run by Entropy is a lawless hell dimension of permanent chaos under the guise of a utopia where there are no gods and no masters, only sapient individuals striving for self-determination. A world run by Order is a lifeless Necron tomb of perfect beauty and unchanging, inflexible rationality. The former collapses into aetheric ribbons while the latter kills all life as we know it to create perfection.



When I first read this section I was under the impression that Entropy was supposed to be unfettered liberalism to a hedonistic degree. Imagine my legitimate surprise when I realized that the goals of Entropy read like Randian Objectivist propaganda and slogans one can shout at a judge. The two forces at work fighting over control of reality are psychotic hedonistic Libertarian demons squabbling against techbro Cogservative angels who run the churches and wish to indoctrinate all life into perfect subservience for their own goals. And the game posits that Harmony is the answer, which is to walk between both paths. Balance magic and technology, libertarianism and conservatism, heaven and hell, that's the only way Earth can survive.

Which fits with the stodgy conservative social views of Victorian England sure. In execution, however, it makes me sympathize heavily with the oppressed Beastmen of the lower class who fight for a social revolution and quote Marx's (who, may I remind you, is explicitly said to be a Beastman) writings. And this heavily explains why Communism has taken root technically earlier than it did in our world but doesn't explain why it hasn't taken root centuries earlier if that's the true state of existence.

Anyway what does this mean for you mechanically. Well. The effects only work when you spend a Fate Point to do something that is explicitly furthering your ideology's agenda.
  • Swinging close to Order means you get +1 success and one further success for each point under the Order cog you have to a max of +6 (1 free, 5 Order). Bonuses are generally given when one puts the system above the individual or you use tech. The downside of high Order affinity is that you have a black dice penalty equal to your affinity defending against magic or dealing with Demons.
  • Swinging close to Entropy means you get +1 success and +3 dice to the pool per point under Entropy up to +15 extra dice. Bonuses are generally given when you put the individual above the system or use magic. The downside of high Entropy affinity is that you have a black dice penalty equal to your affinity when defending against technology (though explicitly not guns, they've been around long enough) or dealing with Archons.
  • You can just negate the penalty of using tools of the other side as long as it's in service of your own ideology and you pay out a Fate Point. Your bonuses still apply for shelling out Fate Points. An Order-aligned priest can throw out a spell if they really need to, for example.
  • The highest level of a Cog rating you can hit is 5 in either direction. Hit 6 and you become an angel or demon and poof out of existence into your proper realm and are taken out of the game.
  • Raising or lowering a Cog rating just requires expenditure of 6 Scripting Dice which...wait hold on a second.
How the gently caress does that work? Can you put down a down payment? To quote, "any unused Fate Points at the end of a session are lost". Does that count if you go beyond the level of normal Fate Points? The wording of the rules for Fate Points are maddeningly vague plus they can only have their pool enhanced by completing adventures. Rules as written there is no way to move in any direction up and down the Celestial Engine, not without completing a shitload of adventures.

For real this is not me being wilfully obtuse. Gaining more Fate Points and Scripting Dice is awfully explained in this game and reeks of "we figured out how this works among ourselves and never wrote the rules down for outsiders". Like for real a permanent expenditure of six Get Out Of Death/FATE Core or Accelerated Narrative Control dice per level of Cog.
  • All Dice spent to originally gain those ranks are lost. You have to move to the middle if you're going to go towards another end.
  • People who adhere to Harmony get nothing, gently caress you. No bonuses, no penalties. Milquetoast fence-sitters...who happen to be the majority of all sapient life.
  • The game says an interesting narrative idea would be someone who is seasoned and becoming less extreme in their ideology should draw the attention of a superior who wants to beat their rear end for defecting. Even though canonically the angels and demons don't give a gently caress because they're immortal beings who expect mortals to change their minds and dabble.
  • There are no immutable mechanical rules and despite what either side believes/desires reality does not in fact work the way they want it to and it doesn't always fit into neat little boxes. Translation: I dunno, change poo poo if you want to.
So yeah. Instead of Character Alignment, we have...that. Which side is better? Entropy probably. More dice is better than guaranteed success plus guns don't affect you as awfully.

Side note: why aren't Orcs the one in charge if they believe in the forces of Order? Why are Eldren if they're naturally inclined to Entropy? Like I understand it's generally because most people think Elves are pretty and would put them on a pedestal and that's why they're aristocrats. It still doesn't make sense.

Reputation

They have put way more thought into these mechanics than any part of the Celestial Engine mechanics.
  • Reputation is broken down into Propriety and Notoriety or as I'll call them Paragon and Renegade.
  • You start in zero in either unless you took stuff at chargen to change that.
  • You should be stingy with Paragon and give at most 1 per adventure as long as their deeds are public and newsworthy.
  • Renegade should be awarded whenever PCs act like PCs or go Pink Mohawk. It's easier to get, go figure, but it also has to be public and newsworthy.
  • In a social setting you roll your Paragon vs. your Renegade. High Paragon success gives bonus dice to roll in that social situation. High Renegade success enforces black dice at a rate of 3 Black Dice per success over Paragon.
  • Inevitably your PCs will become horrendously socially awkward and shunned for being PCs because of acquisition mechanics.
  • You can commit Puffery or Slander to boost Paragon or Renegade by rolling Presence+Bull (or some other relevant skill) and every success over 6 adds a point to either Paragon or Renegade depending on what you're trying to do. It only lasts for one scene and you can do this against other people or fellow PCs. Either way you raise Paragon or Renegade and can negate any social penalties or enhance them.
  • Attempting either and failing means nothing happens or people just don't believe you.
  • Having Puffery found out automatically gives +1 Renegade to the puffed.
  • Having Slander found out inflicts black dice on the spreader of the slander.
  • There are further rules but you get the loving point.
  • They were way too thorough figuring out how to accurately model these loving rules.
  • Smash the empire.
  • I'm getting some minute details wrong but I don't care.
  • World War I can't come soon enough I swear to Christ.
  • You can also try to avoid your reputation but the only way to lose Paragon and Renegade for good is to spend XP.


Speaking of!

Character Advancement




Important details:
  • Can't raise Attributes above subspecies maximum.
  • Justify why you're raising a skill and use is generally a good justification. Also "don't spend all your points raising the same skills, a well-balanced adventurer has a better chance of staying alive and being useful" yeah wow you guys have never played anything remotely resembling...anything involving building dice pools that wasn't this game. I typed this sentence and somewhere out there a bunch of Shadowrun and WoD fans had a good chuckle without knowing why.
  • Health and Quintessence are still capped by their parent stat but it's easier to raise them independent of raising certain attributes.
  • Privileges and Assets should be earned through cash expenditure and roleplay as well as XP.
  • A good rule of thumb for buying off a Complication is that it has to have come into play as many times as its rating (5 times for a Rank 5 thing, for example).
  • You can also invest XP in lowering black die for psychic abilities you already know to a max of -2 black die. Exciting.
  • You can know as many sigils as you want but their rating can only match up to your Resolve. Raising the dice modifiers of existing sigils is 2XP for 1 level raise.
  • You can learn spells at chargen with a BP cost equal to your Quint. After chargen, you must: 1: find a source of a new spell, 2: spend weeks learning the spell equal to the BP cost and 3: make a roll to see if it really takes with a dice penalty that's negated by either the book you're using or your teacher's help. If you fail, you remove one black die per each attempt failed until you get it. Hooray.
  • Marvels/tech are bought at chargen for a cost of their BP. After that they have to be built and might require the help of someone who knows magic to complete the work.
  • Creating new magic and marvels involves A: whipping out either the two source books dedicated to tech or magic for the advanced rules or B: comparing the desired effect to existing spells or phenomena and then copying the BP cost of that spell. Creating new marvels runs the risk of extra XP depending on what you want to make.




Okay I'm pretty sure I said everything I can say about these awful loving mechanics. And let me just say: picking up this loving game was a goddamn mistake. I swore to myself I would never try to eat a heartbreaker but joke's on me I guess.

Is it all worth it? Well. Let me tell you what we've finally gotten to: the magic chapter. Also technically the steampunk chapter but let's be real here the real loving attraction is the magic. The magic chapter is rear end. Magic is too complicated and loving unwieldy. Magic is too specific and too broad. Like no for real magic is broken down into Hermetic High Magic, Conjuring, Magnetism, Goeticism, Runic Magic, Necromancy and Demonology. Technology is just a whole thing on its own but look at all of that. Technology isn't going to make you learn from a list of Enochian words in order to do a drat magic.

So yeah. Roll up your sleeves 'cuz NEXT TIME it's time for cram school in Book 4.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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

Doublepost but man that knife adventure really is the best adventure in the book so far. Looking forward to seeing the sister scenario caused by reading the Roman confessions.

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

Secure. Contain. Protect.
Fallen Rib
I saved up my Cheese Dudes cereal box tops and turned them in for a mention on System Mastery! They plugged my blog!

Speaking of, I've added a new post, this time on Cargo Cult game design.

U.T. Raptor
May 11, 2010

Are you a pack of imbeciles!?

slap me and kiss me posted:

Orcs as captains of industry. Savages? No, they've just eschewed traditional magic in favour of iron, steel, and coal.
The Charr in Guild Wars are literally this. They were basically cat-orcs in the original game, but overthrew their mage caste in the 250 years between it and GW2 and started an industrial revolution.

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!

U.T. Raptor posted:

The Charr in Guild Wars are literally this. They were basically cat-orcs in the original game, but overthrew their mage caste in the 250 years between it and GW2 and started an industrial revolution.

The Charr are also loving cool, and while I hate what they did to Guild Wars 2 gameplay-wise, I'm really impressed with what they did with the Charr, most importantly, and holy poo poo hold on to your asses here, because they may drop off in amazement: They resisted the temptation to slap giant jiggling tits on Charr women, and actually stuck with the Charr's semi-novel physiology rather than gamble on getting lonely nerd attention. Instantly heads and shoulders above World of Warcraft or, well, any other loving MMORPG or... hell most singleplayer RPG's I can remember.

Terrible Opinions
Oct 17, 2013



Video games refusing to let female monsters be actually monstrous is one of my biggest gripes with visual design. If the males look like a horrifying bipedal pile of garbage the females should not look like a slightly slimy human swimsuit model.

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

PurpleXVI posted:

The Charr are also loving cool, and while I hate what they did to Guild Wars 2 gameplay-wise, I'm really impressed with what they did with the Charr, most importantly, and holy poo poo hold on to your asses here, because they may drop off in amazement: They resisted the temptation to slap giant jiggling tits on Charr women, and actually stuck with the Charr's semi-novel physiology rather than gamble on getting lonely nerd attention. Instantly heads and shoulders above World of Warcraft or, well, any other loving MMORPG or... hell most singleplayer RPG's I can remember.

There was a funny interview with the lady in charge of all Charr-related art. She mentioned that early concept art of Charr women did make them traditional catgirls, but she emphatically rejected that, and it eventually came down to her giving the artists an ultimatum: Charr women will either have no boobs, or six.

The artists took the first option.

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!

Cythereal posted:

The artists took the first option.

Now if only she'd been in charge of the Sylvari, too. Because with the Sylvari you could see them slowly changing over the course of concept art from kinda alien plant people to "elves with flowers in their hair."

Dallbun
Apr 21, 2010
As you near it, you sense a powerful emphatic message emanating from

The Deck of Encounters Set One Part 67: The Deck of Neogi, Otyughs, Rakshasa, and Rocs

378: Crashlanding

A neogi Deathspider (a spelljamming ship) has crashed into the hills near a town. People saw it go down in flames. When the PCs inevitably investigate, they find it still alight, but as the fire dies out, they can search it and find the bodies of unidentifiable creatures, and also identifiable umber hulks. There are chests filled with 4,500 gp inside as well.

Five neogi escaped the wreckage, and have regrouped and will return to the spelljammer while the party is inside. They can’t fix the ship, but need slaves at least, and will attack the PCs for that purpose.

Eh. I feel like we’ve had multiple neogi encounters that were a little bit more interesting. Even another one featuring a crashed ship. I really don’t need that many. Pass.


379: The Hunger

In a dungeon, the PCs discover a latrine “literally filled to the ceiling with dirt and filth.” One member is “suddenly hit by an emphatic message of extreme hunger.” Then an otyugh bursts through the offal and attacks, obviously.

It’s an otyugh lair as a random encounter. That’s it. This is an otyugh, living where otyughs live, doing what otyughs do. Where’s the added value here? Pass.


380: Deception

While they’re walking down a winding path at dusk, a kindly old man (actually a rakshasa rajah) approaches the PCs and asks them to join him for dinner. He takes them into his cottage and charms them with entertaining tales, “stories designed to compliment the males and flatter the females of the party.” Take note, everyone: you need to compliment men and flatter women.

Although charming, he’s distracted, and neither he nor any servants ever actually bring food. (I wouldn’t be expecting many servants in a cottage anyway.) Once someone points this out or he’s told a couple stories, he dimension doors out, removes the spectral force (illusion) on the house, and it turns out the PCs are in a huge steel cage with extremely thick bars. (Wouldn’t people have noticed the wind blowing inside the house?) He intends to eat one of them each day until there are none left.

I like the goofy fairy tale vibe, but this is a high-level AD&D encounter. If the true seeings don’t come out immediately, this guy is just going to get blasted with magic from inside the cage. I mean, I guess that’s okay? It’s an encounter where the moral of the story is “don’t gently caress with 10th+ level adventurers”? Keep.


381: Amnesia

A revenant wanders into the PCs’ camp, asking for their aid. He’s looking for his killer, but has forgotten their face; they only remember the killer’s accomplice, whose description matches an acquaintance of the PCs’. They have no particular incentive to help him, but perhaps they have a thing for vengeance.

Incidentally, the dude was an evil fighter in life, and was called Carl the Rotted, because his face was hit by a staff of withering. That’s a cool detail, and implies that the PCs’ acquaintance might have had justification for helping with the murder.

Keep. This gives a cool opportunity to help flesh out a peripheral NPC.


382: Shadow of Death

The PCs are high in the mountains, in a valley between two peaks, and see one roc circling overhead and another one nearing. They try to snatch beasts of burden, or failing that, humanoids. If the PCs defeat the rocs, they may be able to find their nest atop one of the peaks. There are two eggs amid an unspecified “smattering of gold.” “Also in the nest are several pick axes that belonged to dwarves to failed to destroy the roc’s young. If the party returns these to a nearby dwarven mining community, they will be rewarded 250 gp, providing they are willing to surrender the eggs.” Hmm... 250 gp, or two roc eggs? Tough call.

Fine, keep. The PCs can add these rocs to the baby griffin, owlbears, gnolls, goblin, and cambion that they’re already raising. Baby monsters all around, for all levels of adventurer!

Obligatum VII
May 5, 2014

Haunting you until no 8 arrives.

Dallbun posted:

380: Deception

While they’re walking down a winding path at dusk, a kindly old man (actually a rakshasa rajah) approaches the PCs and asks them to join him for dinner. He takes them into his cottage and charms them with entertaining tales, “stories designed to compliment the males and flatter the females of the party.” Take note, everyone: you need to compliment men and flatter women.

Although charming, he’s distracted, and neither he nor any servants ever actually bring food. (I wouldn’t be expecting many servants in a cottage anyway.) Once someone points this out or he’s told a couple stories, he dimension doors out, removes the spectral force (illusion) on the house, and it turns out the PCs are in a huge steel cage with extremely thick bars. (Wouldn’t people have noticed the wind blowing inside the house?) He intends to eat one of them each day until there are none left.

I like the goofy fairy tale vibe, but this is a high-level AD&D encounter. If the true seeings don’t come out immediately, this guy is just going to get blasted with magic from inside the cage. I mean, I guess that’s okay? It’s an encounter where the moral of the story is “don’t gently caress with 10th+ level adventurers”? Keep.


I feel this would be better if the Rakshasa was just genuinely bored and lonely and wanted to ramble at a pack of adventurers for a while. Still traps them in a cage, but only so he can keep talking at them without them running away.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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

Demon_Corsair posted:

Thinking about orcs as Roman legions, has any game really thought about what large scale military tactics would look like when mages can drop meteors, poison clouds, or mind control generals?

I guess you would see small scale unit tactics similar to the modern day.

Now I'm imagining a charge by a group of knights or cataphracts being stopped dead by a well placed stone to mud spell.
Reign. But then, Reign doesn't have D&D wizards. Really, in a D&D 3e setting, it makes no sense to have an army if you could just train a cadre of spellcasters.


quote:

Master Smod was dismissive of my engines. “I, or any of my better students, can move faster and strike harder with our enchantments than any stone propelled by your cumbersome device. What general would prefer this mute pile of wood to the terror brought by a stormtongue?”

I said nothing to him, of course, because I could think of no rejoinder. But as I walked home I realized: I could have said that my catapult will never be counterspelled, will never tire so long as men feed it, will never betray an army for coin or concubine, will never fail to function after a hard drinking night, and can’t be disabled in a moment with a sharp knife or heavy blow when taken unaware.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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

This is why the best spellcasters are Dindavaran.

They make swords. Their magic is in the making of swords.

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.

Mors Rattus posted:

This is why the best spellcasters are Dindavaran.

They make swords. Their magic is in the making of swords.

To be fair, they also have that one school about replacing your heart with a small boulder and the beneficial knockoff effects thereof.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Everyone needs more cute baby monsters goddamnit.

Everyone.

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Prism
Dec 22, 2007

yospos

Night10194 posted:

Everyone needs more cute baby monsters goddamnit.

Everyone.

Not a roc, but I should have linked it when baby owlbears came up. They just got mentioned again so dammit I'm counting it.

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