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Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



Maxwell Lord posted:

I love this.
Wow, I didn't realize how clumsily written that paragraph was until you quoted it. I think Torg's bad fiction writing is rubbing off on me.

unrelated side note: The other day one of the game stores I frequent got a bunch of used Torg books in for sale. That now makes two store within 10 minutes of my office that have Torg books. Somebody is trying to tell me something.

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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.

Skutharka is amazing just for being the guy behind great plans like "What if...we just wholesale stole the plot of Videodrome and/or the Ring and turned it into a monster. Huh? Huh?"

unseenlibrarian fucked around with this message at 15:14 on Mar 8, 2016

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine


I don't care if it's decades before the reference would make sense, I'll never not be a fan of a literal Wolf of Wall Street.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



unseenlibrarian posted:

Skutharka is amazing just for being the guy behind great plans like "What if...we just wholesale stole the plot of Videodrome and/or the Ring and turned it into a monster. Huh? Huh?"
The thing with Skutharka is that some of his horrors are actually pretty scary. Like the intelligent EKG machine that, when hooked up to someone asleep or in a coma, drives them insane and/or Corrupt with constant nightmares while showing their vitals as just fine so the doctors don't realize that the patient is stressed out beyond imagining...until the poor guy wakes up and grabs a scalpel.

Then you get stuff that's literally just "killer lawn mower what kills people".

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



Alien Rope Burn posted:

P.B. Crisps. We are aligned.

Man, bringing up that topic made me think my question was going to be addressed, but I'm guessing jef isn't checking his PMs. I mean, that's what's happening, right? :ohdear:

I just forgot that PMs were a potential source for a hot second between email, twitter, site comments, and Facebook. I have your question for the next one, though

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



The Lone Badger posted:

Except for, say, the second season of Nanoha.

Nanoha is fairly unique in this regard, in that it is essentially a giant robot show sans robots, in terms of genre conventions. (And also primarily aimed at 20+ year old men.). I am not a fan, myself, and only saw the first show.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Mors Rattus posted:

Nanoha is fairly unique in this regard, in that it is essentially a giant robot show sans robots, in terms of genre conventions. (And also primarily aimed at 20+ year old men.). I am not a fan, myself, and only saw the first show.

And if your primary method of making friends is a wave motion gun to the face, it is only natural to assume that other forms of social interactions are handled similarily. Nanoha would make a great addition for Torg.

And boy is that target audience ever obvious in the transformation sequences.

Doresh fucked around with this message at 16:32 on Mar 8, 2016

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Infernal Player's Guide: Hell For Leather

Before a demon's first trip to Earth, they get an audience iwth their Prince. For some, this will be their first time meeting their Prince. Even if not, this is the interview where oyu get your orders, maybe a favor or two, maybe get to ask a question, and then you get told what happens if you fail. The threat of punishment is always implicit every time you meet a Prince. Some say it, but others just expect you to know. After your mission starts, you hope you won't see oyur Prince again soon. Every Prince has many servants, and while they can manifest in multiple locations at once, they are just as busy as the Archangels and don't have time to waste on you. If they show up too often, it means you're worrying them. Your next mistake could be your last. Infrequent visits are best. Of course, if something brings you to a Prince's attnetion, they're more likely to show up. Being noticed is usually bad if you don't have important and preferably good news. Princes vary in temperament, but all are selfish and malevolent, and most can change moods very quickly. It's best to go unnoticed and be adequate.

For most demons, Earth missions are a reward. Angels see the corporeal plane as a place of imperfection, but demons love it - they escape the tension and misery of Hell, have more chance ot advance and can exert their will on weak mortals. It usually takes years of miserable toil in Hell to get sent to Earth. However, for every Earthbound dmeon, there will eventually be a recknoning. You have to earn your keep, and whether you do depends on a lot of factors.

Princes don't care quite so much as Archangels about what you spend your time doing. They care if you're rebellious or betraying them, but as long as you do your job, they don't give a poo poo what the rest of your time is spent on. Demons often have more freedom on Earth than angels, and may have very loose assignments, like 'stir up trouble in this city.' They may operatei ndependently for years without a Prince showing up. Others are more watchful - Baal, for example, doesn't like to givem uch autonomy. Saminga, on the other hand, may very well forget he put you somewhere. Either way, though, no matter how laissez-faire a Prince is, you have a boss. Your immediate superior is rarely the Prince themself - most are instead assigned to an intermediary demon, often Wordbound. Sometimes you'll change bosses regularly, sometimes not. Some bosses will watch you closely, being intrusive control freaks, and most demons get one of those at some point. You might work to discredit them - but then, that can be risky. There's not much worse than trying to screw over your boss and failing. Other demons are more friendly with their bosses, but Princes worry about that - they don't want you getting more loyal to your boss than your Prince.

The Princes are very busy, and you can go an entire campaign without meeting your Prince much. However, eventually, someone's going to get their attention or invoke them. Princes can send intermediaries or project themselves with Songs, but they can also show up to surprise you. They most often appear by invocation, though rarely unsubtly. Sometimes they might show up to give orders...but most demons don't get that. When it happens, it means the orders are big. Most Princes also don't do debriefings personally unless the job was very important...but you might not realize a job was important beforehand. Sometimes, a Prince will drop in unexpectedly, mostly to keep their demons honest and afraid. And, like an Archangel, you can seek audience with them. There's not a lot of reason to, however. Typically, if they want to see you, they summon you, not the other way around. It usually means either high honors or horrific punishment. Otherwise, you're only going to see them when your vessel dies and you get shoved back to your Heart, in which case they'll be aware...but even then, they tend to let lesser servants handle things.



Audiences with a Prince are dangerous. If they have a bad day going on, they may easily take it out on you. Smart demons learn how to survive. Step one: be discreet. Demons are paranoid, and Princes aren't an exception. Anything a Prince says in private is private. Do not even think of treating it as otherwise. Reveal their secrets and you will be punished severely if they ever find out. Second, be brief and patient. Princes hate having their time wasted, but they are more than happy to waste your time if they feel like it and expect you to nod and ecstatically agree with them - just don't take up their time, let them take yours. Third, don't take too much credit and don't take any blame. It's a very important skill. You always want to make yourself look good, but don't over-boast. Superiors see ambition and competence as a dangerous combination. Be competent, but not too competent. Rapid advancement is rare in Hell, and if you fall, the people on the way down aren't going to be nice. Patience is a survival trait. And never, ever take blame. It's someone else's fault if something goes wrong. Pick people who can't give their own side of the story - especially dead people, or other Princes. However, remember that Princes are not, barring Saminga, actually stupid. They can spot lies and will notice a snow job. They also like to shoot the messenger. On the other hand, the messenger is the one who gets to blame someone first.

Fourth, when dealing with a Prince, never ask for too much or too little. You need to know how much you can ask for. Ask for nothing, you get nothing. But if you ask too much...well, most Princes don't like greed. (Mammon does, but he's not generous.) Demons are an investment, and they need to pay off. Know what you can afford to ask for. When a Prince offers you a boon, try to figure out what they're willing to give. Then ask for just a tiny bit more - a little bit of audacity can get an extra favor, but too much will get an extremely bad response. Fifth, when you're in doubt, suck up. When you're in trouble, grovel. Princes actually do like flattery. They recognize it, but they like it. Going overboard's dangerous, since no one likes sarcasm, but most Princes enjoy a bit of sycophancy. If they're mad...well, you might live if you beg for mercy. Maybe. If your record's good. It's not a guarantee, but bootlicking can placate their wrath.

Also, remember: you are expendable. You sometimes might get sent on a suicide mission - either out of strategy or because you're irritating. If a Prince wants you dead, they usually try to benefit from it as much as they can. Since this is rarely permanently lethal for a celestial, it's a good way to punish a demon. It might also be a loyalty test, to see how you react. And, of course, it may just be petty. Demon Princes can be petty if they want to.

Andrealphus runs his organization exceptionally casually, and he's one of the easiest Princes to talk to. He wants you to enjoy your work. However, he doesn't like it when called on to show up anywhere that isn't fun and full of sex.
Asmodeus runs his organization with an iron fist, and it has a strict chain of command. He keeps dossiers on all of his demons and accepts no dissent, ever. He will visit you at least once a month, and could be watching at any time.
Baal is likewise authoritarian, but rarely announces his visits - and rarely performs them, but has many spies. His organization has a military chain of command, and disobedience is punishable by death...unless you succeed. Baal is strict about being a meritocrat.
Beleth spends most of her time in her Tower or in dreams. She is polite at best to her demons, and while she is fair about rewards, her punishments are terrible. She organizes her demons in small groups serving her Wordbound, spreading out into increasingly specialized branches, but they have a lot of freedom.
Belial has no organization at all, really. He barely cares if his demons are dissonant or even on the verge of Redemption, mostly because he barely notices. When he does, he'll kill them, but he usually won't notice. He doesn't listen to thinks he doesn't want to hear, and when he's angry, people burn.
Haagenti has a loose management style, assigning demons together based on the needs of the moment, but he isn't as careless as he seems. He dislikes prolonged conversation, and he is very, very sensitive to disrespect.
Kobal allows backtalk and even insults, if they're funny, but he always has the last laugh. He doesn't allow actual disobedience, but he rewards creativity and wit. His demons are supervised by a chain of command, but Kobal frowns on excessive interference.
Kronos runs a deeply efficient and loyal organization, organized in a bureaucracy that takes each demon to their level of competence and no more. The hierarchy is absolute, and ambition is often stifled, but for those with Kronos' favor, there is a lot of power and freedom. Kronos monitors the top much more than the bottom of the hierarchy.
Lilith has no permanent organization, just temp workers.
Malphas has split his organization into many factions - really, each demon is a faction of one. He always listens to his demons and lets them all believe they are his favorites. He doesn't mind betrayal so much because of how isolated he keeps each demon.
Nybbas is always busy, and he groups demons by project. Heads of projects are generally Wordbound. Nybbas rewards creativity and initiative, but lack of performance will get punished quickly.
Saminga assumes all demons are totally loyal, never question, never disagree and never backtalk. Anyone who is otherwise is tortured and maimed. His subordinates are often similar. However, he usually just turns his demons loose on Earth rather than try to organize them much.
Valefor's organization isn't. He might team his demons up, but he otherwise leaves them free to make their own rules unless they have orders. No one has a permaent supervisor, though they may have informal bosses.
Vapula's demons have supervisors, and it is the supervisor's job to keep Vapula from being disturbed. Thus, he tends not to be called on without good reason...though he does expect to be called if there is a good reason, and will punish those who don't.

Infernal Interventions are essnetially identical to Divine Intervention, except more malicious towards foes and with Lucifer instead of God taking a hand. Moving on. Demons! Hell is full of young demons. Most Princes prefer numbers to quality. Some grow more than others - Saminga prefers undead to demons, so he has relatively few compared to, say, Shal-Mari's Princes. 'Young,' for demons, can mean anywhere less than a few centuries old. However, demons grow up fast. Any demon that survives long enough to hit 9 Forces is usually seen as fully mature, while those with less are basically teenagers, unless they had 9 Forces at some point. The youngest true demons have only 7 Forces, either made that way or grown from imps or gremlins. 8 Forces is still young, but not quite fresh. Young demons are often shoirt on skills and roles, and rarely have servants or artifacts. Instead, they tend to have a few Songs, a handful of skills and an attunement or two. Lilim are the exception. (Lilim are always the exception.) All Lilim are made with 9 Forces, and no Lilim is born from anything but Lilith making them.

While celestials are made fully aware and functional, they do still have to learn. Young demons are likely to make social blunders and mistakes in the same way as young angels, and that's why they never get to Earth without supervision. There is a difference, however, between those who were born demons and those born as infernal spirits. The latter tend to be more experienced, though not more powerful. What little young demons know of Earth, however, is mostly propaganda and lies, and what they know of Heaven is even moreso. The most crucial point to understanding young demons is this, however: they never Fell. Hellborn have no memory of Heaven. They literally cannot conceive of what it is like to be an angel. They have only the word of their Prince and their elders for what Heaven and Earth are like, and they are indoctrinated in the demonic perspective on history.



Young demons believe absolutely that Heaven is a stagnant tyranny, as regimented and totalitarian as Hell but with fewer chances to advance. They believe that the Divine plan involves removing all individuality. They also have exposure only to the damned, when it comes to humans, and the damned are pretty pathetic. They see only the worst of humanity, and believe them to represent the entire race. It's no wonder most have no sympathy for humans. Many demons never manage to realize that demons are the bad guys. Young demons have a sort of malicious naivete, an almost Habbalah-esque belief that they're doing mankind a favor by tormenting them but allowing them to be free, rather than protected but devoid of choices. Most angels are more potent than most demons, and in Hell, they are seen as terrible instruments of Divine wrath. Most young demons are terrified of them, and many demons never totally lose that fear. It takes them al ong time to realize that not all angels are killers, and that some can even be pleasant. Like young angels, they often have distorted views on human behavior, but in the opposite direction. They assume every human is a lying, self-cetnered hypocrite, and they don't believe in love and altruism. Hell, they believe, isn ot only the natural state, but the only sensible model for behavior. It's unpleasant, but it makes sense. The strong thrive, and the weak serve, and the foolish die. This makes much more sense than 'goodness.'

Princes rarely send young demons to Earth - they'll be outgunned by every angel, and easy targets for other demons. Most Princes instead use infernal spirits for minor Earthly chores and keep young demons home until they're big enough to handle themselves. However, a former infernal spirit will be more familiar than most demons with Earth, and so often gets an Earthbound job when they fledge. Any young dmeon will have an older supervisor who will usually monitor them closely and mentor them...though often the first conflict a young demon faces is when their supervisor says one thing and does another. Demons brought up to dread dissonance almost as much as they fear angels will have a rude shock when they see how easily it's gained on Earth.

Older demons are rarer than older angels, largely because demons die more often, both to the other side and to their own. Demons that survive a while are those that avoid the worst conflicts and seem unremarkable to their bosses. Thus, they often aren't much more powerful than young demons. They often have wider skillsets, however. They come in a few types, generally. The Bumbler is a useful idiot. They gently caress up a lot, but manage to succeed just enough that their Prince remains patient for now. Most Princes don't have much tolerance for fuckups, but some manage to persist in unimportant jobs, annoying everyone nearby for years but somehow avoiding the one fatal mistake that'd get them killed. Their biggest desire is usually to prove themselves and get that promotion they are certain they deserved all along. The Drudge is the demon whose job is to handle menial tasks that keep Hell going. They are unambitius, useful and require little maintenance. Not all of them work in Hell, but most do. They sometimes grow discontent after years in the same job, and they can often persuade their Prince to give them a chance to prove themselves. The Casualties used to be major players, rising stars...but then, well, they got into trouble iwth angels. Their Forces were removed by battle. They were once far stronger than they are...and now they're not, either because of angels or because they pissed off their Prince but not enough to be killed. Some veteran demons have grown and fallen multiple times over the years.

M<ost new demons are made by Princes. However, quite rarely, a pair of demons can choose to have a child. They'll need a Prince's help, and most aren't very helpful. Saminga will never help prospective parents, and Malphas and Asmodeus are almost as tough - they both hate to see demons care so much for each other to want to be parents. It shows a lack of selfishness. Kobal is unpredictable. Sometimes heh elps, sometimes he turns it into a sick joke. Andrealphus and Vapula have a reputaiton for being approachable in this matter, though Andrealphus usually demons a few weeks of loving him first. Vapula, on theo hter hand, will just add 'improvements' - at least one level of unremovable Discord. All Princes will insist that the newborn serve them, except Lilith, who will instead demand a level 6 Geas from the child and each parent. Once the Prince's help is secured, the demons join their celestial forms in union, with each parent giving up at least one Force and at most one of each type. The Prince binds them together and makes a new demon.

The new demon is of the Band of whichever parent gave the most Forces. If equal, the Prince chooses which parent the child takes after. These demons are born fully functional, if naive, and need a fast education to survive. They typically get assigned to safe duties until they can handle Earth missions. They are at least supposed to be tainted by evil from birth, buit it sometimes happens that they realize what they are and the corruption around them, and they become almost angelic. It's one of the reasons Hell is so terible for the young - being surrounded by pain and crtuelty teaches selfishness and darkness. Occasionally, however, a new demon can resist it but not show that they are. If they can get to Earth and meet angels, they are often likely candidates for Redemption, which is very embarrassing for a Prince and so often fatal for any parents and trainers involved. There's also stories of spontaneous Redemption of young demons somehow made with little to no evil, but these rumors are fatal to repeat in Hell.

Next time: Words

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010

THEE Ukraine

Lipstick Apathy

theironjef posted:

Time for some of that Afterthought, people. This is the one where we answer the real question, the question that's only been answered by every roleplaying game ever made: What is a roleplaying game?

1. Why is the Yu Gi Oh crowd especially bad?

2. I have just the idea for a CCG that's similar enough to Magic, but has its own artistic niche. Witch Girls: The Gathering

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

I couldn't elucidate exactly WHY the Yu Gi Oh crowd is especially bad compared to, say, Magic players but it is the truth nonetheless.

Lynx Winters
May 1, 2003

Borderlawns: The Treehouse of Pandora

theironjef posted:

Time for some of that Afterthought, people. This is the one where we answer the real question, the question that's only been answered by every roleplaying game ever made: What is a roleplaying game?

The one instance of giving the GM XP I've seen that makes sense is in Double Cross, where XP is given to players rather than characters because losing a character is basically inevitable. New characters get however much extra XP the player has, so replacement characters are just as powerful as the character that just died or went crazy. The GM also gets XP so they can keep up if someone else takes over as GM. It''s really just codifying what most groups do anyway, but it's good to see it spelled out.

Of course, the idea that anyone will ever volunteer to take over as GM to give the regular one a break is just adorable, but at least it makes sense.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
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#1 Builder
2014-2018



I think part of it is that Yugioh spent a relatively time with the worst, most confusing rules team decisions, making it a haven for rules lawyering.

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:

I think part of it is that Yugioh spent a relatively time with the worst, most confusing rules team decisions, making it a haven for rules lawyering.

The Yugioh crowd at my LGS is actually pretty good because as it turns out when you ban anyone over 12 from playing you generally get rid of most of the super-broken combo researching rules lawyers.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



The last game store I did Organized Play at had YuGiOh on the same night, and they got the lion's share of the space (because they bought YuGiOh cards), and they were always super-loud, and had constant issues with people stealing each other's stuff. One night someone actually punched someone else because of a card play.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


gradenko_2000 posted:

1. Why is the Yu Gi Oh crowd especially bad?

2. I have just the idea for a CCG that's similar enough to Magic, but has its own artistic niche. Witch Girls: The Gathering

I'll combine both points and reply with "You just walked right into my transformation card!"

Lynx Winters posted:

The one instance of giving the GM XP I've seen that makes sense is in Double Cross, where XP is given to players rather than characters because losing a character is basically inevitable. New characters get however much extra XP the player has, so replacement characters are just as powerful as the character that just died or went crazy. The GM also gets XP so they can keep up if someone else takes over as GM. It''s really just codifying what most groups do anyway, but it's good to see it spelled out.

Blade of the Iron Throne does something similar: Spend XP accumulates as Karma, which is tracked by player, not by character. Whenever that player creates a new character, he can spend Karma to give him a better start (which reminds me a bit of transmigration from Disgaea). The GM also gets Karma so he can make a beefy character whenever it is his turn to be a player.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


For the Ironclaw review, I had a question: Would people prefer if I went into the nitty gritty of what each Gift and Skill does, full, gameplay wise? It's going to make the Gifts section quite long if I do, but I'm torn because showing off the system and the variety of characters it can build is one of the goals of my review. Would it be better if I just wrote up a couple sample characters or asked for concepts then showed how they could be made in system?

That Old Tree
Jun 23, 2012

nah




At the LGS my friend owned a decade ago, Yugioh players routinely destroyed the bathroom and left incredible messes in the game room. Also, the regular group of YGO players was a bunch of 12-year-olds plus one nervous balding guy in an army jacket.

After shutting down their sponsored tournaments for the sake of other patrons and nervousness about that older guy, he immediately regretted it because they spent a stupid amount of money on that lovely game every week.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



Well, that's what happened at my last store. He had YuGiOh and D&D Organized Play happening on the same night, and the YuGiOh players pretty much got away with murder because they kept buying cards.

Meanwhile, the rest of us got shuffled off to the side, half the time they didn't have a table ready for my group even though we were there every week, and charged $5 per person because we didn't buy anything. Never mind that he never carried RPG stuff for us and could never get stuff when asked.

Last I heard he's shifted from YuGiOh to Dice Masters on the same night because that's the new hotness. The last time I was there to play a board game with one of my players (since the rest of the group couldn't make it), he had some guys come over and try to teach us how to play so we'd buy Dice Masters poo poo, even though a) we didn't ask him to or want to learn, and b) Dice Masters would have been on the same night we were playing D&D.

NGDBSS
Dec 30, 2009








Lynx Winters posted:

The one instance of giving the GM XP I've seen that makes sense is in Double Cross, where XP is given to players rather than characters because losing a character is basically inevitable. New characters get however much extra XP the player has, so replacement characters are just as powerful as the character that just died or went crazy. The GM also gets XP so they can keep up if someone else takes over as GM. It''s really just codifying what most groups do anyway, but it's good to see it spelled out.

Of course, the idea that anyone will ever volunteer to take over as GM to give the regular one a break is just adorable, but at least it makes sense.
Double Cross is intended to be episodic, so the idea is that the group as a whole would just periodically swap GMs. I'm not sure if that's a thing that Japanese TRPGs do regularly or no, but nonetheless it's an interesting way to go.

Descent (both 1E and 2E) also has GM XP in the campaign modes, but in that case it's designed as part of a tug of war between the PCs and their adversarial GM as part of a board game (instead of a relatively freeform TRPG).

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



Doesn't help with Yu-Gi-Oh that at one point, the original American publishers got it in their heads that they owned the games, and created and sold a bunch of counterfeit cards, throwing off the balance Konami had intended to have for the TCG.

And I remember Pokemon Cards being barely tolerated by the card shop (aimed mostly at M:TG and Star wards) because the kids brought in so much money.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Kai Tave posted:

I couldn't elucidate exactly WHY the Yu Gi Oh crowd is especially bad compared to, say, Magic players but it is the truth nonetheless.

I can't speak with authority, but Yu Gi Oh is a far more exploitative game than most TCGs (save for the games that have followed in its wake) and aimed at a much younger audience than most. It's much more dependent on getting rare cards and hits a fairly vulnerable audience with brutal efficency.

"Scratch-off tickets marketed at kids" is the most apt description I can come up with.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
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2014-2018



Let's not even talk about how Yugioh rarity works.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



If I remember correctly, the card game was based on the manga, but the manga didn't have any rules beyond what was needed at that moment. This meant that the original game was pretty much unplayable by normal means, so people had to come in and try to duct-tape some rules together based on what they had on the cards.

So technically the game was released, then designed.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





Evil Mastermind posted:

If I remember correctly, the card game was based on the manga, but the manga didn't have any rules beyond what was needed at that moment. This meant that the original game was pretty much unplayable by normal means, so people had to come in and try to duct-tape some rules together based on what they had on the cards.

So technically the game was released, then designed.
Ah, so perfect for the thread then.

LornMarkus
Nov 8, 2011



Evil Mastermind posted:

If I remember correctly, the card game was based on the manga, but the manga didn't have any rules beyond what was needed at that moment. This meant that the original game was pretty much unplayable by normal means, so people had to come in and try to duct-tape some rules together based on what they had on the cards.

So technically the game was released, then designed.

I actually watched some of it when I was younger and as a non-YuGiOh! CCG player I recall always being terribly amused when I saw cards that were actually used in the show but had been ridiculously toned down just to be not as broken.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Sparks of Light


The Dark


Ready to turn you into a cigarette to harvest your soul nicotine.

Nobody really knows where the Dark comes from, but it operates much like how the other magical girls should: They act alone or in small groups, each with their own agenda and their own little pocket dimension to hang out in. Thanks to their shadow magic, they are pretty much impossible to track unless they make a scene, which for some reason always happens in places where a good magical girl is nearby.

The only time the Dark ever comes close to having a Court is when a Dark General or Dark Queen arises who manages to unite several dark magical girls for her cause.
Unless you're dealing with an evil Yomi or cosmic horror, members of the Dark are fallen magical girls (as the Dark doesn't seem to be able to create magical girls themselves). These can be either veterans who have been corrupted, or newbies that have been scooped up and brainwashed before they could be properly introduced to the Courts.

This talk about the main bad guys is a good time to bring up further GM choices, this time dealing with the overall body count of the game. The default assumption is that magical girls only really die as part of heroic sacrifices or fights against BBEGs, but you can just dial it up to Madoka+ levels or dial it down to some weird toon setting where neither side can bring itself to actually kill anyone. And if you're really weird, you can have the magical girls start WW3 and play Magical Mad Max-chan or something.
The GM can also change to grimdarkness of Harvesting magic. The default assumption prevents harvesting from doing lasting damage, but you can make the damage permanent or even fatal.

As dark magical girls are almost always outnumbers, they let Yomi and other monsters keep the opposition busy while they go about harvesting MacGuffins from civilians. Once their done or poo poo hits the fan, they generally make haste ASAP.
If the dark magical girl actually does succeeds, things can turn pretty badly. Maybe the entire area gets corrupted in the Dark's attempt to take over the world. Maybe good magical girls get a handicap (like having their Bonds be damaged), or the dark magical girl just succeeds at getting her MacGuffin.

Aside from being sneaky and harvesting stuff, Dark magic is also very good at corrupting or mind-controlling things. Another neat trick is Infusion, which allows a dark magical girl to pump one of her goons full of energy, probably while shouting "Make my monster grow!".

In tradition of the genre, not all dark magical girls are irredeemably evil and might just see the light again. But since we have this whole Court thing going on, you don't just convert your bitter rival after talking some sense to him over several fights. No, instead you bonk her over the head, track her evil rear end to a Court and put her into a rehabilitation center, which totally doesn't sound like brainwashing at all.

Yomi


Persona!

Yomi are essentially all your supernatural critters: monsers, spirits, angels and other funt stuff. If they aren't already at least demi-human, they can often learn to become a human after enough contact with magical girls.

Yomi in any shape or form are primal forces of nature, overspecialized in their one gimmick or domain and often tied to a particular place (or type of place), from which they will revive if killed. Bringing a Yomi to join your side is not done by talking to one directly, but by going to his place, which for the Dark probably results in corrupting the area.

Whether they serve the Light or Dark, Yomi are very gentleman-like and never show hatred towards each other, evne if they fight. So maybe this whole war between Light and Dark is just some fun distraction for them I suppose.

The Twilight


I need to play more Maid.

The selfish d-bags of the magical girls. They are technically still part of the Light, but they don't care enough about this whole Good vs Evil affair to bother contributing much unless they really have to.

Joining the Twilight is very tempting for younger magical girls, as you can abuse your powers while not having to work for someone who wants to take over or outright destroy the world. Though the lifestyle of the Twilight does a number to ones Bonds, and it eventually leads to a downwards spiral to becoming a Dark. It is therefore that the number of magical girls in the Twilight stays relatively static.

They have Courts of their own, but the Twilight's nature doesn't make them particularly stable. The following are the biggest ones in modern day:

The Court of Mirrors

Magical girls of this Court are extremely vain. Each of them calls herself a Queen, and they use their powers to become stinking rich and live the part. They're probably the most likely to fight the Dark, because that's what perfect Mary Sue magical queen girls aught to do. They also like tiger Yomi.

The Court of Chimes

These magical girls believe that fate itself causes this endless war, so they try to change fate itself. They act as arbiters between the Light and Dark (not that this helps much seeing how the latter loves backstabbing), and they're willing to grant wishes at a price.
Their Yomi of choice are friggin' dragons.

The Court of Whispers

Seekers of knowledge who want to know what really makes the magical girl world go round. Though once they have their knowledge, they tend to hoard it for themselves because they have to fill their d-bag quota somehow.
They also really like sphinxes.

Next Time: The Wider World - stalkers, propaganda and romance.

hyphz
Aug 5, 2003




Evil Mastermind posted:

If I remember correctly, the card game was based on the manga, but the manga didn't have any rules beyond what was needed at that moment. This meant that the original game was pretty much unplayable by normal means, so people had to come in and try to duct-tape some rules together based on what they had on the cards.

So technically the game was released, then designed.

In the Manga, originally Yugi played all kinds of games, and the CCG he played was called "Magic and Wizards".

Yep.

Barudak
May 7, 2007



So a great example of Yu-Gi-Oh rules revisions is the first major card duel arc there is no limitation to what monster you can play a turn, just that you can only play one. very quickly the question arises, if there is a card with no abilities and 3000 attack and a card with no abilities and 1200 attack why would I ever have the second one in my deck. Conveniently, once rules for the card game came into existence to fix such glaring and basic things as 90 percent of the cards in this show are worthless trash including the main characters signature card the second card battle arc used "special rules" that more closely matched the card game and the old rules were never mentioned or discussed again.

Then several seasons later characters had to ride around a motorcycle to play the card game which I'm pretty sure isn't tournament standard.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Mors Rattus posted:

Let's not even talk about how Yugioh rarity works.

You know, I just realized that Yu Gi Oh is literally made by a manufacturer of gambling machines.

So, you know, that's a fact.

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 do Magical Girl TRPGs always always seem to be either grimdark or involve court politics or both?

The only magical girl show I saw was Cardcaptor when I was growing up and I don't remember either of that in that show. Sailor Moon different?

Lynx Winters
May 1, 2003

Borderlawns: The Treehouse of Pandora

Because nerds can't just let a thing be earnest. Gritty realism = maturity, and we gotta show everyone that roleplaying brightly-colored schoolgirls can be mature.

There's probably a lot of masculinity poo poo to unpack in there too, but people here get real weird and lovely when you bring that up.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



hyphz posted:

In the Manga, originally Yugi played all kinds of games, and the CCG he played was called "Magic and Wizards".

Yep.
Hell, the manga wasn't even supposed to be about a card game. It's just that they did the arc about a card game, and the fans just kind of latched onto it.

It wasn't planned at all, it just happened on its own.

senrath
Nov 3, 2009

Look Professor, a destruct switch!




Covok posted:

Why do Magical Girl TRPGs always always seem to be either grimdark or involve court politics or both?

The only magical girl show I saw was Cardcaptor when I was growing up and I don't remember either of that in that show. Sailor Moon different?

Sailor Moon had some darker moments, but none of the parts of it I'm aware of come even close to qualifying as grimdark, nor do they involve court politics.

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.


Lynx Winters posted:

There's probably a lot of masculinity poo poo to unpack in there too, but people here get real weird and lovely when you bring that up.

So, nerds needing to make poo poo grimdark in a vain attempt to be taken seriously and insecurity over their own masculinity stemming from wanting to play little girls in a game?

Sounds about right.

Almost makes me want to make an actually earnest Magical Girl game like that Cardcaptor show I remembered growing up.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


hyphz posted:

In the Manga, originally Yugi played all kinds of games, and the CCG he played was called "Magic and Wizards".

"All kinds of games" included fun stuff along the lines of Russian Roulette, because oldschool Yami Yugi was a psychopath who loved scarring criminals and other douchebags for life (if they survived the game, that is), which explains why that season never made it to the west (it not actually being about merchandizing didn't help, either).

Barudak posted:

Then several seasons later characters had to ride around a motorcycle to play the card game which I'm pretty sure isn't tournament standard.

I think the current trend is having everything play out in virtual reality, so they can make something kinda sorta along the line of Digimon or Bakugan - especially the latter if the card monsters actually start gaining sentience, but still follow the card rules because why not.

Covok posted:

Why do Magical Girl TRPGs always always seem to be either grimdark or involve court politics or both?

The only magical girl show I saw was Cardcaptor when I was growing up and I don't remember either of that in that show. Sailor Moon different?

Many magical girl shows have their darker moments, but court politics? The closest thing you even get to a Court and its Hall is some fantasy kingdom/palace in another dimension (or the moon). The heroes visit the place maybe once or twice, and it ultimately just serves as the homeland of their mascots, an exposition guy or two and the ultimatel MacGuffin to save from the bad guys.
I really don't know why these games keep including politics. Oh well, at least Sparks doesn't have dominion rules like Princess does.

Really the closest thing you can get to a multi-crossover magical girl setting is the Dark approach: A bunch of different groups dicking around in their own pocket dimension and only meeting occasionally for jolly co-operation.

Doresh fucked around with this message at 22:05 on Mar 8, 2016

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Lynx Winters posted:

Because nerds can't just let a thing be earnest.

This reminds me that I really need to finish my writeup of Blue Rose at some point.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


It's sad, too, because earnestness has reached a point where it's rare enough in nerd fiction that it's actually the surprising, refreshing exception.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Night10194 posted:

It's sad, too, because earnestness has reached a point where it's rare enough in nerd fiction that it's actually the surprising, refreshing exception.

Does ""magical girls team up with tokusatsu heroes (because what else are magical boys gonna look like) to fight a bastardized Cthulhu mythos" sound earnest enough? I'm still working on it.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Doresh posted:

Does ""magical girls team up with tokusatsu heroes (because what else are magical boys gonna look like) to fight a bastardized Cthulhu mythos" sound earnest enough? I'm still working on it.

Are they legitimate heroes who are actually trying to face a dark universe to make things better? If so, yes.

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Lynx Winters
May 1, 2003

Borderlawns: The Treehouse of Pandora

Doresh posted:

Does ""magical girls team up with tokusatsu heroes (because what else are magical boys gonna look like) to fight a bastardized Cthulhu mythos" sound earnest enough? I'm still working on it.

As long as you don't include a sanity system of any sort, you're off to a good start.

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