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Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008

Alien Rope Burn posted:

That's Fantasy Friends, which isn't available to non-backers (yet). Faerie Skies came out earlier.
I don't know why I read "Faerie Skies" as "Fantasy Friends", but I don't think it invalidates my point.

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Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!

Evil Mastermind posted:

I don't know why I read "Faerie Skies" as "Fantasy Friends", but I don't think it invalidates my point.

Look, you were wrong about something on the internet, there can be no forgiveness. :argh:

Seriously tho, it doesn't invalidate your point at all, I was just trying to clarify for folks that might try and look it up.

oriongates
Mar 14, 2013

Validate Me!


One of the many, many nails in the coffin of any claim that Maga is "feminist" is the fact that it's so freaking fetishy...everyone is basically there to serve the author's/artist's kinks and frankly the only reason it's women killing and transforming men in horrible ways rather than vice versa is just because that's how the author's tastes swing. Then we get the feminism label draped over something that is clearly just thinly disguised wank material.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008

Alien Rope Burn posted:

Look, you were wrong about something on the internet, there can be no forgiveness. :argh:
I'll never be a TradGames superstar. :negative:

quote:

Seriously tho, it doesn't invalidate your point at all, I was just trying to clarify for folks that might try and look it up.
No, I get that. I was just surprised I read Prof's post that wrong.

Adnachiel
Oct 21, 2012

Doresh posted:

Clearly, rhythmic gymnastics is the most fiendish tool of the Serpent. The rope and the ribbon are obvious symbols of his.

I was about to say, where does the whole "sportsball is a tool of the Serpent" leave things like figure-skating, gymnastics, competitive dance, competitive cheerleading, and all of the various women's leagues? (Though cheerleading is probably also a construct of the Serpent because "cheerleaders are all snobby bimbos who made fun of me in high school just like in the movies and TV".)

Hell, for all its flaws, WGA is a more feminist game than Bellum Maga, which makes sense since BM is just Witch Girls with TERFness, misandry, more horrific body horror art, and Soto's possible weird grade school baggage. (Which becomes even more pathetic when you realize that Soto is in her 40s.) So if you really wanted to play a "feminist" game with a broken as gently caress untested system, the option is already available.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015

Adnachiel posted:

I was about to say, where does the whole "sportsball is a tool of the Serpent" leave things like figure-skating, gymnastics, competitive dance, competitive cheerleading, and all of the various women's leagues? (Though cheerleading is probably also a construct of the Serpent because "cheerleaders are all snobby bimbos who made fun of me in high school just like in the movies and TV".)

I guess it's because these sports are all competitive, and any sort of competition is evil because that would imply you're not already perfect and are actually a real person with flaws and room for improvement?

Or maybe Soto just really hated P.E. class.

The Lord of Hats
Aug 22, 2010

Hello, yes! Is being very good day for posting, no?

Adnachiel posted:

I was about to say, where does the whole "sportsball is a tool of the Serpent" leave things like figure-skating, gymnastics, competitive dance, competitive cheerleading, and all of the various women's leagues? (Though cheerleading is probably also a construct of the Serpent because "cheerleaders are all snobby bimbos who made fun of me in high school just like in the movies and TV".)

You are giving this more thought than Soto did. Pretty sure football as depicted in high school movies is the only sport she had in mind when writing that.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.

And could argue Cheerleading exists for men to leer at bouncing titties and panty-flashing, but that gives Soto too much credit, and also falls into the awful trap "You are not a real feminist if you like traditionally girly stuff!"

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
:blizz::gamefreak:
Don't forget that concepts of attractiveness and overweight women being ugly are complete constructions of the Patriacracy. But being evil demonstrably makes you ugly and fat.

LatwPIAT
Jun 6, 2011

One idea I had for a feminist one-shot was a game of nHunter/WoD Mortals I tentatively titled 'Take Back The Night' where the player characters were a small clique of feminists working at a Battered Women's Shelter who patrolled the neighbourhoods at night to protect women against supernatural attack - assault of women by male vampire being not that different from assault of women by male mortal, in terms of sexual violence and power discrepancies. The less common assault by mortals is, the harder it is for vampires to hide their activities in a sea of misogyny, or so the clique thinks. In addition to killing vampires, conflict would arise from putting feminist questions to the edge; is female-on-male vampire assault something the clique should deal with directly, or should they focus their primary efforts on protecting women against male vampires? Can female vampires be considered female empowerment, or are they just perpetuating the patriarchy by legitimizing violence? Should the clique even fight vampires with violence, or does that also further patriarchal thought?

The characters would all follow a different tenet of feminist; the Marxist feminist sees vampires as the ultimate expression of the class struggle, the radical feminist identified how they work explicitly in terms of a patriarchy, the liberal feminist seeks to equalize men with women through exalting the individual and legal reform, etc.

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
The example of play in Golden Sky Stories reminds me of the Callahan's Crosstime Saloon books I read as a kid. The problems were more cosmic and there was lots of weed and booze, but the message was explicitly about being empathetic, connecting with other people, and listening to their stories to solve them. "Shared pain is lessened, shared joy is increased, and thus do we refute entropy." I bet a modified GSS could model that better than the GURPS Callahan book, which I haven't read yet.

Count Chocula fucked around with this message at 02:04 on Apr 8, 2016

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



MARS, PART ONE



One would allege that Mars is not the kind of place to raise your kids, that it's far too cold for human life. The native Martians would beg to differ; it's an arid, dying planet but the tools the Ancients put in place help them survive. This part of the review will be split into two parts: Martian history, society and technology is part one and part two will be the effects of human presence.

Mars was originally cool and wet, teeming with plant life. The Ancient Martians had figured out how to safely harness atomic power and undertook a scientific revolution, creating a paradise for their people. The average Martian was functionally immortal (with immunity to disease) and relied on machines for water, food, service and entertainment. The exception was the Ancient scientists and engineers, a cadre of bright minds who wanted more than a perfect life and devoted their time to the upkeep of Mars' machines. So naturally after centuries of immortality, the Ancient Martians grew decadent, lazy and stodgy with fewer and fewer becoming scientists and artists. Two problems spelled doom for the Ancient Martians besides their decadence and laziness: they had hyper-efficient recycling but no new resources, and also there was the minor problem of the intelligent species of planet Eris invading to conquer them.

The Erisians were warriors and by the time the Ancients got around to figuring out what to do with them, they had already invaded Mars. Mars had not seen war for ten thousand years (save the occasional murder) and had no defenses, no weapons. The Erisians would have completely wiped out Mars if a group of top scientists didn't develop two planet-busting rockets. They stopped the invasion by blowing up Eris with one, which had some long-lasting effects. First, the destruction of Eris created the asteroid fields between Mars and Jupiter. Second, not all of the Erisians were killed. There were still some rockets in transit which fled across the solar system (or landed on Mars where they were destroyed). They also landed on Earth (where they failed to thrive) and Venus (hmm...). Third and most importantly, the act of blowing up a planet adjusted Mars' orbit and axis. Mars was starting to die, wracked by natural disasters, storms, earthquakes. By the time the Martians figured out a course of action, it was too late.

The main transportation across Mars was destroyed, most of their advanced technology networks were interrupted or broken and the planet was turning to desert. The Ancients had to work and struggle for the first time or die. The nations of Mars were cut off except for radio networks, and that's how the Ancient Martian scientists came up with plans to save Mars. First was stratifying people by what they could do (the caste system), second was to dig the canals of Mars to let the ice caps melt and bring water like an artificial stream. Both ended up working (around 9000 years ago) but it didn't fix Mars or bring back the green. What actually happened was that every Martian city state was unable to think above their local needs, creating pockets of civilization in the red deserts. The Ancients also used their genetic engineering tech to create the Warriors and Laborers and diversify the other castes so they can't interbreed.

At the end of it, a religious movement of ancestor worship began where the Ancients were exalted for building the canals and saving Mars with a focus on building up perfection and unity to get to heaven. The entire thing was promptly hijacked by early Princes and Nobles, claiming that they were descended directly from the Ancients.

Modern Mars is...stagnant. The machines don't work like they should anymore, the planet is still slowly circling the drain and life is rigid and stratified. The arrival of mankind is the best and worst thing to happen to Mars in two thousand years.

Life on Mars



Martian cities are principalities under control of the Nobles, the Priesthood or an Earthling power. There's a couple hundred principalities that range from small areas to big sweeping swathes. Principalities under Martian control have the Prince/Princess/whatever title the Noble feels like using on top (never king or queen because they're servants of the Ancestors, a bit like how Kim Il Sung is still the actual ruler of North Korea). Below them is the Grand Vizier, followed by the head of each Caste, the Masters (of Slaves, Crafts, etc). Underneath the Masters are the lesser Nobles who act like bureaucrats and daily managers of the principality, the Priests and the Warrior castes. Under that is everyone else: the Laborers, the Craftsmen, the Merchants. The Prince/Princess owns everything in the principality and Martian economics works trickle-down style, distributing things by Caste strength to meet quotas. A lot of this info or requirements are outdated and corruption/bribery is the best way to fix that. These black market deals and bribes are managed by the lesser Nobles with the implicit acceptance of such by the Prince. If you want to trade with another principality, you need a Merchant.



Earth has introduced more economic systems to Mars. Soviet colonies are a bit like Martian principalities, where one group owns the means of production and distributes by census data. It's an easy pill to swallow for Martians because Soviet economics means that they don't give a poo poo about the Castes. America has brought free market capitalism to Mars, which is generally baffling to Martians except for the ones who run black market deals and understand barter. It's a mostly good system (especially for the Laborers and Craftsmen) but poverty is starting to develop on Mars (especially for Laborers and Craftsmen). Finally, there's Fascist economics brought by the Nazis and Italy, which is very simple: strip Mars for everything of worth to Earth then do it again, the lives of the Martians are a secondary concern as is their survival.

Want to get around Mars? Walk. You can also ride a Bahmoot (aka the "Lizard Horse"), ride a cart pulled by a Bahmoot or ride a canal boat/barge. Rickshaws pulled by Laborers are also entering popular use. Some principalities still have running transit which take the form of electronic mag-lev trains used to carry people and cargo. On the Earth side of things, our technology has a big limitation: there's no oil on Mars, not a drop. Cars are impractical because oil needs to be shipped to Mars from Earth and while this is done, the price is ridiculous. Mars does have radium, though, and since radium powers rockets it's used for rocket sleds, rocket cars and more.

Martian communications consists of either paying a messenger to memorize and marathon or carry a letter for you. As a result, Martians have trouble spreading news around but communications festivals and rituals are common. This has also had the effect of making some principalities ignorant of the presence of Earthlings. Ancient technology is also used (mostly by Nobles) and comes in the forms of a microwave transmitter that beams info and energy to towers and receivers, beam transmissions that carry information, or a jury-rigged microwave transmitter turned into a switchboard phone system. The Laborer Caste powers pretty much everything where Ancient technology has broken down, literally powering infrastructure with hand cranks, bicycle generators or treadmills. Laborers are required to maintain the Martian standard of life: running water, unclogged sewers (waste and sand, mostly), a few hours of electricity a day.



Arts and entertainment on Mars is a business in itself. Craftsmen may not need to make their items so instead they may be told to decorate what they've made. They're used to paint, etch, sculpt and much of a Martian principality is just covered by all kinds of hand-made art. The greatest kind of art is the sand painting, with cleaned sand dyed and laid grain by grain (sometimes wetted) to create paintings or 3D sculptures that will one day blow away. Every Prince is required to have at least one they've managed to preserve. As for other art, music and dance is divided by Caste lines. What this means is that most Castes don't see or appreciate another's display with some exceptions: Nobles and Merchants don't have any artistic traditions but appreciate watching the Priest Caste's rituals, and everyone likes watching a Courtesan's dancing or harp-lute playing.
  • Craftsmen don't dance but they sing and they play percussion. When working, the songs are nonsense vocalizations and percussion, all of it freeform. When at home, they sing songs of home life, of food and love and family. Craftsmen enjoy jazz and identify a lot with it and in free states their home songs are used to hide rebellious messages.
  • Laborers chant/sing to coordinate their efforts and drown out the boring nature of their work. When off duty or celebrating, they stick to ritual dances and happy chants.
  • Warriors drill when they dance, they sing to march and coordinate. Dance is an important part of exercise and practice and it's not uncommon for cavalry riders to dance with their mounts. They also divide their songs and dances by gender.
  • Priests have religious hymns and choir songs for public. In private, there are forbidden/heretical songs they sing in whispers to give themselves breaks from being devoted to religion, these hidden songs wrapped up in metaphor and innuendo.
  • Wild Martians (the Chanari) do whatever they want, but they perform an art that no other Martian castes have: drama and plays. Chanari plays are generally one-person shows with pantomime and second person narration.
Martian entertainment also has wargames (tabletop and otherwise) for the Warriors and Nobles, dice games, word games and a cross between backgammon and chess called Ofali played only by Nobles.

Food on Mars is a lot like food in Alpha Complex. The lower castes eat spiced bread and spiced porridge (or reconstituted food product dispensed by Ancient food machines). The higher castes get fruit, veggies and meat. A lot of Priest sub-castes are vegetarian and Warriors get the best food always because they need fuel and nutrients. Healthcare and education aren't much better. Education is generally taught by other members of your Caste or teacher, and healthcare ranges from Ancient auto-docs to black market medicine to Earth-style care to superstition and guessing.

War is probably the greatest ritual Mars engages in. I'm not talking about coups, which happen. Martian war is a multi-step process that begins with a formal declaration of hostilities along with open goals for all parties and what they wager if they lose, negotiated by each principality's merchants.
  • While each principality holds symbolic parades of their Warriors, Merchants are dispatch to the courts of the other participants with a jar of water and a jar of sand. If they can successfully negotiate out of a war or conflict, the Prince will accept the jar of sand as a symbolic gift. If they can't, the jar of water is poured out onto the ground in public.
  • When the Merchants return home and war is certain, more Merchants will be dispatched to each Prince's court for a ritual of insults and hostage taking. Hostages should defend themselves or be taken by force but if any Priest or Noble blood is spilled, the war gets worse from that faux pas.
  • If that goes off successfully, each side picks a symbolic base/canal/hill/etc. (not too far away from each other) to defend. The point of the war is simple: if you lose your point of defense, you have lost the war. Kills don't matter, only giving the victors what they're owed.
Nobles treat this kind of war as a game or a trade deal. If something goes wrong, then you have open or total warfare on your hands. All castes can be targeted, anything goes and it only ends when one side is destroyed or forced to surrender. Coincidentally, this kind of war tends to happen during a coup.



Wild Mars

Outside of the principalities, Mars is home to the Chanari and whatever wild species have managed to make a home for themselves. The land isn't empty, just sparse, and the biggest danger is the lack of regular food and water. More enterprising explorers focus on open Mars because they have to worry less about politics. As a whole, the planet has five different types of ecosystems.

Silt Seas are what happened when sand gets into the dry oceans and rivers of Mars after the destruction of Eris. A thick, fine layer of silt floats above dry beds and dirt kicked up from nature, creating something not as buoyant as water but something you definitely can't swim in. Crossing the silt seas requires a special ship that is made of wood and goes fast enough to skip. Because wood is so precious on Mars, the Chanari make a living salvaging old ships and it's considered an unspeakable crime to destroy a ship when you can just board one. The other way to get around over the silt seas is to use ancient highways built by thousands of years ago. They're crumbling, they're not all connected and they're really high off the ground but they're a safe way to haul cargo.

Deep Desert is your standard Martian desert, a sun-baked land of rock and sand. Anything living in the desert is often dangerous to approach, especially Chanari that have managed to survive there. The safest way to avoid sunstroke, dehydration, starvation and sand storms is to stick to old trade routes and possibly hire a Chanari caravan guide (who might turn on you).

Salt Plains are what remains of old oceans that didn't fill with silt and dirt. There's less salt plains than silt seas but their rarity brings better access to Ancient ruins. Most of the water just evaporated and left behind old towns and structured abandoned along the dried coasts, but there are still some machines damaged by salt and time. Your average Martian considers the salt plains to be cursed and forbidden, old graveyards that should not be disturbed.

Arid Highlands are the most forgiving places of Mars. They're dry but it rains, they're hot but there's shade from the trees. The highlands are home to most of Mars' flora and fauna and most Chanari live there too as herdsmen and forresters. Some of the highlands are too high and are inhospitable from thin air while others are in a sweet spot of being high enough to get the most water.

Dead Canal Valleys are artificial environments made by principalities abandoned when the water dried up, the machines stopped working or whatever reason. Chanari tribesmen make their homes in the canals and so do a good deal of animals, able to eke out a living or maybe finding a way to draw a reliable source of water. Renegade city Martians can also be found living there, escaping their homes or banished. The canal valleys are also a good place to explore and scavenge.

What is life like for a Chanari tribesman? Whatever they want it to be, but mostly focused on survival. They tell stories, they scavenge, they hunt, they dance and sing. They rarely think about the castes and principality life of Mars except when people pass through their territory. They live a Bronze Age/nomadic life and the presence of humans hasn't done much to change it (besides giving them access to guns).



NEXT TIME: Human Occupation of Mars. Spoilers: we really could be doing a better job of it.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!
I looked up GSS and its expansions on Drivethru, and for some reason the "often bought with" section showed Hc Svnt Dracones. It's only $3... I could look into the madness with my own eyes...

Bruceski
Aug 21, 2007

The tools of a hero mean nothing without a solid core.

ProfessorProf posted:

Incidentally, I spotted this at the game story the other day: Faerie Skies, a kickstarted stretch goal book that acts as an expansion pack to GSS, moving it from Japan to the English countryside. Fae instead of henge, et cetera.

I am a terrible person, because my first thought was foxhunts and badger culls. Hedgehog Henge would be adorable though.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!

Just Dan Again posted:

I looked up GSS and its expansions on Drivethru, and for some reason the "often bought with" section showed Hc Svnt Dracones. It's only $3... I could look into the madness with my own eyes...

Please don't feed the beast.

RocknRollaAyatollah
Nov 26, 2008

Lipstick Apathy

Just Dan Again posted:

I looked up GSS and its expansions on Drivethru, and for some reason the "often bought with" section showed Hc Svnt Dracones. It's only $3... I could look into the madness with my own eyes...

Don't you have to spend $14 more to get the "full" game with the Extended book?

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011

Bruceski posted:

I am a terrible person, because my first thought was foxhunts and badger culls. Hedgehog Henge would be adorable though.

It shouldn't be too hard to devise new Henge. Pick some themes and personality traits they most embody, come up with six core and then five weakness/strength pairs. The hardest part would be figuring out cost for using the powers, but you can probably reference closely related powers to get a feel for that. The first expansion released consisted of five new Henge types written by western RPG authors.

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

Tasoth posted:

It shouldn't be too hard to devise new Henge. Pick some themes and personality traits they most embody, come up with six core and then five weakness/strength pairs. The hardest part would be figuring out cost for using the powers, but you can probably reference closely related powers to get a feel for that. The first expansion released consisted of five new Henge types written by western RPG authors.

Do they need to be normal animals, or could you make elemental spirits or Pokemon, like the fire spirit from Howl's Moving Castle or a stone Henge?

Quinn2win
Nov 9, 2011

Foolish child of man...
After reading all this,
do you still not understand?
There's actually an official, I think still untranslated supplement to the game that lets you play as more overt magical creatures - oni, kappa, ghosts, and so on.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!
There is; it's called Mononoke Koyake. It includes oni, kappa, ghosts, visitors (i.e. aliens and other oddities), and michinoke (various weird spirits that traditionally go around frightening people). No word on when a translation might be done, though both Faerie Skies and Fantasy Friends reference it. Here's some of the art, though!

Maxwell Lord
Dec 12, 2008

I am drowning.
There is no sign of land.
You are coming down with me, hand in unlovable hand.

And I hope you die.

I hope we both die.


:smith:

Grimey Drawer

oriongates posted:

One of the many, many nails in the coffin of any claim that Maga is "feminist" is the fact that it's so freaking fetishy...everyone is basically there to serve the author's/artist's kinks and frankly the only reason it's women killing and transforming men in horrible ways rather than vice versa is just because that's how the author's tastes swing. Then we get the feminism label draped over something that is clearly just thinly disguised wank material.

I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about.

quote:

Ever wonder why Maga who smoke use cigarette holders even today? It's our tribute to that time.

Asimo
Sep 23, 2007


Sometime, somewhere, I will play this alien in a game.

SpookBus
Aug 22, 2015

Alien Rope Burn posted:

Yeah, I don't think there's a point in trying to "fix" Bellum Maga, if you want to do a feminist-themed game, you'd be much better doing your own research and starting all over from first principles. It's a rotten foundation, don't try and build on it.

Something like trying to bake a cake using the contents of an ash tray. :v:

potatocubed
Jul 26, 2012

*rathian noises*
I think there are some Actual Feminist RPGs kicking about -- the nanogame anthology Feminism, and Bluebeard's Bride spring to mind. Unfortunately I don't think either of those are fully available yet.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.
I think you could make the argument GSS is, if not outright feminist, joyously feminine. It promotes reconciliation over violence, emotional honesty over repression, and community and empathy over rugged individualism.

As far as overtly feminist games go, the big one to my mind is Night Witches - focusing on a historical struggle of a particular group of women, and using that to not only engage with the oppression of the time but also show that women are badass and awesome no matter what society thinks of them.

Wapole Languray
Jul 4, 2012

Plus, even if you don't care about the feminist messages it's still a rad game about bombing Nazi's. A game can have a message, but it should be a good game first.

Quinn2win
Nov 9, 2011

Foolish child of man...
After reading all this,
do you still not understand?




quote:

Autumn is the season of ripening,
The season when flowers give the blessing of fruit.
The season that brings dreams.

Here youíll learn about the narratorís role in Golden Sky Stories.
What should a narrator do?
How do you tell stories?

Take in what's written here.
From here, youíll create your own stories.

Autumn: To Become a Narrator
You'll need a few things before you begin. The required materials list is pretty standard, except that there's no dice required, and it does list as a required item gentle feelings, both towards your friends and towards the characters in the story.

The Narrator has five main jobs!

Create a Town
You don't need to do this in any huge amount of detail. Start with a name; if you don't have any ideas for one, just take a Japanese family name and add "Town" to the end. Next is the surrounding nature - is there a big river? is it near the sea? is it surrounded by mountains? does it snow a lot in the winter?

The fine details can be established during play. The distance from the post office to the train station is whatever the story demands that it be. As you decide on details during play, write them down so that things will be consistent if you come back to it in another story.

The end of the book contains a town, Hitotsuna Town, which can be lifted wholesale if you don't want the extra work.

Prepare a Story
A seasoned GM shouldn't have any trouble devising new stories. For those who are newer to the format, or need a grace period to get the swing of this style of game, the book has two sample scenarios to use, plus the Winter section has a big pile of story fragments scattered across the NPC descriptions, which can be tied together into a story.

The core of every secnario is thus: Someone is troubled by something. "Someone" can be a human, a henge, an animal, or a god. "Something" isn't evil machinations or something that needs to be destroyed. The someone might not even be incapable of dealing with the something, they may just need a nudge in the right direction. A henge's job is to give that troubled person the strength to take one step forward.

Once you have that core, the rest needs to fall into place around it. An introductory scene where the trouble is introduced, a few scenes digging through the situation, then a conclusion. Scenarios run about 4-5 scenes on average.

Driving the Story
The actual GMing part. This book goes over all the basics in a lot of detail, it would be a great game for someone who has no idea how to run an RPG.

Anyway, set the scene, describe locations, update descriptions as the situation changes. If things bog down, keep the story moving forward, but try not to restrict the actions of the henge. If the game slows down with a lot of idle conversation between the characters, but people are having fun, just let it play out.



Be a Referee
Rules arbitration. Set the difficulty for checks, determine who wins and loses. If you're not sure what attribute to ask for on a check, ask the party for their thoughts. Take the initiative when it comes to awarding Dreams, so that the other players pick up on your lead and keep the currency flowing. Make sure that players recall their weaknesses, and remind them if they try to act against them.

Portray Other Characters
NPCs. There's not much here that isn't fairly obvious, they work like in other games. They have their own attributes and Connections, as long as they're important enough to get a name. The Narrator can earn Dreams like anyone else, and spend them to improve Connections from NPCs.

Unlike the player characters, NPCs don't have their own separate pools of Wonder and Feelings. Instead, the Narrator gets 10-20 points of each to spend on each scene. These points are shared by every NPC participating in the scene, and don't carry over between scenes.

An Actual Story



Time for a sample of actual play! This is a big chunk of the book, going for a whopping 14 pages, so I'll leave out most of it.

It opens with a walkthrough of chargen, using a couple of the same sample characters from the rest of the book. Riko makes a tanuki with the weaknesses Gullible, Carried Away, and Carefree (gaining the extra powers Carelessness, Tanuki Dance, and Rest), and sets her stats as Henge 3, Animal 1, Adult 2, Child 2. Kuromu sets her weaknesses as Cat-Tongue, Can't Swim, and Selfish, and her stats as Henge 2, Animal 3, Adult 1, Child 2. Riko picks "Like" for her Connection to Kuromu, who picks "Protection" for Riko. Thus, game begins.

Here's a bit of the first scene:

quote:

Now letís begin this story. In preparing this story, Suzune has allowed herself 10 points each of Feelings and Wonder per scene. It only concerns people, and it wonít require many checks, so that should be plenty.

Suzune: Now itís time for the first scene. Itís the evening. Youíre on a dimly-lit path surrounded by fences and a hedge. Itís a patch of open land overgrown with weeds, and the two of you are watching the sunset.
Riko: I wave my tail and happily say, "The sunset is so pretty!"
Kuromu: I donít say anything and just look around from on top of the fence.
Suzune: Well, Iíll give Riko a Dream.
Riko: Yay! As the narrator, Suzune passes her a playing card, so that it will be easy to count later. The number of playing cards each player has represents how many Dreams sheís accumulated.
Suzune: Now, while youíre doing that, a boy comes running up the path.
Kuromu: Whatís the boy look like?
Suzune: Heís smaller than either of you. Heís probably a third-grader. He looks well-mannered.
Riko: I sort of trundle over, and rub against him.
Kuromu: But youíre a raccoon dog!
Riko: I sure am, you know? When I get close to him Iíll be like, "Um..."
Suzune: I see. Well, since a raccoon dog is approaching a human, the boy is Surprised.
Riko: Aaah! Is that what happens?!
Kuromu: Normally you would be surprised.
Suzune: So, the boy goes "Aaah!" and slips. If you canít make an Animal check of 2 or better, youíll get caught up in it, Riko.
Riko: Uh oh! My Animal is only 1!
Kuromu: But, you can use some Feelings to make it, right?
Suzune: Right. Since you have the Relaxed Weakness, youíll have to spend 2 points of Feelings to make your Animal temporarily go up to 2, and you wonít get caught up in his fall.
Riko: Umm... Uhh... I think I should get caught up though, you know?
Suzune: Okay. The boy falls on top of Riko.
Riko: Squish! Iím seeing stars, but Iíll let my soft body cushion him, you know?
Kuromu: Wow. Thatís cute... Have a Dream.
Suzune: Iíll give her a Dream too.
Riko: Yay! Now I have three, you know?
Kuromu: (Ack. And I have none.) AAnyway, Iíll panic, and say, "Jeez! Whatíre you doing?!" and rush over while still in cat form.
Suzune: Well, well, well. Suddenly hearing a girlís voice, the boy panics and springs to his feet.
Kuromu: Iím getting a little worried here. Iíll just try to sound like a normal cat. "Meow."

Here both Kuromu and the narrator get one Dream each. You donít have to say anything when awarding Dreams. Theyíre using the cards to represent Dreams, and itís best to award them without interrupting the storyís progress. Thereís nothing wrong with passing the cards without saying anything. From here on out weíll omit the awarding of Dreams from this transcript.

HEY LOOK, it's the short story from the top of the book! It was a play session all along, now being presented as table chatter instead of prose. It runs through the whole thing, including between-scene bookkeeping and postgame Memory/Thread generation.

Riko's Big Mistake, part 3

quote:

I want to become a good narrator.

Suzune: Hello, Lady Kaminagahime. What does one need to be a narrator?
Kaminaga-hime: ......However many stories you weave...... you must keep gaining more experience.
Suzune: Hm. Then what should one be careful of?
Kaminaga-hime: ......There should be many ways to resolve the story...... just as I have many legs. (She flexes her eight legs.)
Suzune: I see. So, the henge should be able to resolve things however they wish?
Kaminaga-hime: Hmm...... You must also be able to see...... the thread of a solution...... when you are troubled.

Let the henge do what they want.

Suzune: But what if they donít follow the hints you give them?
Kaminaga-hime: ......Depending on the situation. If they are very clearly choosing...... badly, you may have to point them to the thread of the resolution. If they still wonít follow it...... thereís little to be done...... and you must tell them of the bad outcome. Thatís how it has to be in the end...... you see.
Suzune: Hm. I became a narrator to tell happy stories with them. I know that doesnít mean there will never be bad endings.
Kaminaga-hime: It wonít be all bad..... Sometimes the outcome will be...... better than what the narrator prepared.
Suzune: When that happens, you shouldnít be particular about the ending you had in mind, correct?
Kaminaga-hime: (nods)

I want us to weave happy stories together.

Kaminaga-hime: A narratorís job is not to tell a tragic story...... even if you do trouble the henge. Have the henge make a sad story...... into a happy one. The narrator must make everyone involved in the story...... people and henge...... happy. Strive to that end. ......Weave a happy story for the depressed raccoon dog too......
Suzune: You neednít tell me that. As the narrator, I will protect Kikuna, who fears moving away, and that scatterbrained Riko! Sorry to have disturbed you. I must be going.
Kaminaga-hime: ......Donít get so keen. Fox girl...... The narratorís happiness is important too.



Next: The first sample scenario.

Terrible Opinions
Oct 17, 2013



Does Blue Rose count as feminist?

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.

I think so, given it's designed to emulate the likes of Mercedes Lackey and Tamora Pierce, and the society's pretty egalitarian.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011

Count Chocula posted:

Do they need to be normal animals, or could you make elemental spirits or Pokemon, like the fire spirit from Howl's Moving Castle or a stone Henge?

I don't see why you couldn't. As long as you can give the concept a clear direction to play as and balance the mechanical bits with the other classes, the fluff really doesn't matter. Like a good chunk of games with a focus on story, you could probably rewrite the non-mechanical bits about the core Henge and have them be something else. You could do members of a cosmopolitan galactic society that crashed/came to Earth and their makeup and rubber prosthesis they use to hide don't work as well during daylight hours. Or your band of Tolkien archetypes go around Mordor defeating Sauron through peace, generosity and making everyone's lot better. The narrative what you are isn't as important as the mechanical what you do for the most part.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012
Fallen Rib

Terrible Opinions posted:

Does Blue Rose count as feminist?

In the sense that discrimination and inequality are explicitly called out as bad and lame and effort is made by the writers to be inclusive, I'd say so. It stumbles a bit here and there...it doesn't handle the matter of trans persons in the greatest way (there are spells to let you sculpt flesh into new forms...but they all carry the risk of corruption to your very soul so, uhhhhh) but otherwise I'd probably say it qualifies.

Wapole Languray
Jul 4, 2012

Well, that spell is like that because they didn't even consider using it for trans purposes in the book, in the game it's pretty explicitly just as a way to explain why the villains can create hideous monsters and the Orc-analogues of the setting. Blue Rose kinda forgets trans is a thing, which is understandable: Gay Rights was a big thing when they wrote it but the idea of Trans Rights being a big issue is actually fairly new and the creators probably didn't even think of it.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015
Valor - The Heroic Roleplay System


Skills and Flaws

Skills and Flaws are pretty darn flexible and make up a huge part of your character. Flaws are pretty self-explanatory, but Skills cover a lot of ground, covering - in D&D terms - things like Feats, Class and Special Abilities, as well as general advantages.

As typical for a merits & flaws system, many Skills and Flaws to pick come in levels for a greater effect (which in Valor's case in pretty much always a linear boost in power). Depending on whether the Skill or Flaw in question has a slow or fast progression, the maximum level you can take is either equal to your current Season/Tier or roughly twice as high.

As there are a quite a few Skills and Flaws that passively affect a character's combat statistics or grant other combat-related benefits or drawbacks, the main way Valor does buffs and debuffs is by temporarily slapping Skills and Flaws on someone, which stacks with existing Skills/Flaws and lets you effectively double your maximum level (as the (de-)buff is of course also limited by the level progression).
This means that, for example, anything that can affect your Defense in combat is bound to involve either the Iron Defense Skill or the Feeble Flaw. There aren't a whole lot of special cases, and those are just other Skills.

Flaws

Flaws are your primary way of gaining additional Skill Points and create a more interesting character. The GM is actively encouraged to not allow Flaws that don't actually have any impact (like say Weak Energy Attacker on a pure physical fighter), and the amount of SP you can get back from Flaws is heavily limited by the character's current level. You can front-load yourself at level 1, but you'd have to wait a few levels to gain all additional Skill Points.

Many Flaws don't need much elaboration, as they mainly modify Derived Statistics, add a penalty to avoiding attacks from certain Active Attributes or reduce your starting Valor. Others nudge you into behaving a certain way (Violent has you lose Valor every turn you didn't spend attacking someone), if not enforcing it directly (Berserker has you go, well, berserk when you reach critical health, buffing your combat statistics in the process, but also eventually forcing you to attack allies if nobody else is around).
Another fun one is Unthreatening, which removes the difficult terrain effect of your Zone of Control. This is perfect for literal healbots that do nothing to enemies passing by, or wimps who are, well, unthreatening.


Just let him pass, dude.

Interestingly, Valor eschwes purely roleplaying Flaws, or the typical rival/enemy flaw - for the most part. The closest you have to both is Malevolent Entity, which is basically Ichigo's Inner Hollow and Guts' Berserk Armor, aka an evil entity inside your head that wants to take over your body.
The main advantage of this Flaw is that it allows you to take the Dark Power Limit to make your Techniques cheaper, at the cost of triggering the entity to try a takeover. This also always happens if your health goes critical or the plot calls for it.
Once possessed, the character gets a bonus to all rolls and becomes an NPC until the character can regain control.
To keep lucky or unlucky die rolls from messing things up, each failed attempt of the entity to take over will give it a cumulative bonus for next time until it actually succeeds. Conversely, the character himself will have ean easier time regaining control every time he fails to do so.

Weaken Flaws

These can't be taken as normal Flaws and are restricted for debuff use only. They consist of Flightless, Impaired Accuracy and Impaired Evasion and pretty much speak for themselves. Flightless of course does little if the target can't fly in the first place.

Permanent Skills

These are for the most part the opposite of Flaws and active at all times, boosting your derived statistics or making you start each scene with some Valor. Sneaky guys will love {b]Discreet Aura[/b] (basically the DBZ trick of turning off your Aura so guys who can sense Aura - with the Skill Spirit Sight - have a harder time finding you), and Balanced Fighter is great for everyone who feels a bit MAD or wants more out-of-combat utility, as the Skill adds a point every Active Attribute that is lower than your highest one.

Permanent Skills is also where we find how Valor handles sizes. There isn't actually anything about tiny characters (though a physically weak character with the above Unthreatening Skill should cover this nicely), but bigger characters take the Increased Size Skill. Each level has you take up your adjacent spaces (aka your former Zone of Control) and adds a bonus to attack rolls because you're pretty hard to avoid. The downside is that you take a penalty to defense, but at least other characters have to roll higher to score a critical hit against you, giving you a net gain in critical resistance.
Going overboard with Increased Size levels can make it pretty hard to squeeze into tight space, so everything beyond the first level is probably best left as a buff for a PC.

Endgame Permanent Skills let you regenerate Health or Stamina each turn, gain an additional Support Action, increase your Zone of Control or automatically hurt everyone inside said Zone of Control. Oh, and you can also teleport like a boss. Valor usage can also become pretty crazy once you're able to store more Valor and regenerate it more quickly.

Situational Skills

These are all Skills that aren't active all the time and require specific conditions to be fulfilled, making them quite varied. Examples include Crisis and Desperation that beef you up when you reach Critical Health.

Some of these add additional options for combat: Nimble Movement lets you ignore an enemy's Zone of Control if you succeed at an opposed Dexterity roll, Dig Deep lets you pay for Techniques in Health instead of Stamina, and Empower Attack and Resolute Strike let you modify your attacks (damage at the cost of other Actions and an attack roll bonus for a defense roll penalty, respectively).
And if you liked D&D's flanking rules, you can take Team Tactics that does pretty much the same thing.
Another pretty interesting one is Overload Limits, which lets you temporarily ignore whatever Limits you've put on a Technique if you pay the full Stamina cost (without the reduction you gained from the Limits).

Later Situational Skills add utility to other Skills (which I'll cover later) or new options to your normal movement (phasing, wall and water walk...). There's also Unstoppable, which lets you keep going for a while if you reach negative Health through sheer badassery.

Active Skills

These all add actual new actions to use in combat, each taking a Support Action to pull off. Some are your typical feints and intimidation attempts, but others stand out quite a bit.

Attack Node is a pretty funky skill: It lets you spend Stamina to create stationary nodes through which you can attack with any Technique, as if you were standing in several places at once. The higher your level in this skill, the more nodes you can have active at the same time (a previously hinted at Situational Skill helps you here, as it allows you to create more than one node at a time), and the endgame Skill Attack Node Network lets you launch Techniques through all available nodes for an attack bonus. And your enemy try to stay out of range, you can move the nodes around with another Active Skill called Effect Transfer.
What do you do if your opponent spams Attack Nodes all over the place? Well, the Skill Nullify lets you get rid of them, while the later Effect Capture lets you try to use them for yourself.

Characters with a Malevolent Entity get access to an exclusive Skill: Dark Healing. No Stamina cost involved here, just spend your Support Action and you recover a Health Increment. Unfortunately, this Skill also triggers your Entity, so don't overdo it.

For all your Naruto needs, you can pick Clone. It lets you create illusionary clones of yourself that can't actually attack and are gone in one hit. Nevertheless, they are neat to confuse the enemy, slow him down a lot (clones have a Zone of Control as long as the opponent doesn't know who the real one is), and the Situational Skill Clone Tactics gives you an extra flanking bonus with your clone buddies.

Duel lets you challenge a foe to single combat. He isn't forced to, but both characters will gain Valor from doing so. Breaking the duel through interference is possible, but comes with a big Valor penalty because you just ruined the mood.

Fly is your primary way of attaining the Flying status (aside from wall walking, though that's obviously a bit restricted). Not only are you unaffected by things on the ground, but you also get a bonus to your Movement rate that goes up the more points you pour into this Skill.
Your flight time is limited, since you have to spend Stamina each turn to stay up - that is until the endgame Situational Skill Free Flight becomes available and you can go full-on DBZ.

Nothing sucks more than being the melee fighter dude in a battle with flying critters. Fortunately, Valor comes with the Skill Jump, which lets you attack flying creaures normally for a little bit of Stamina. See a high-flying dragon in the sky? Now you can punch him.

Heatlh and Stamina Transference lets you assist allies by trading some of your Health/Stamina for theirs. This works in Increments, so a squishy wizard transfering Health to the party's tank is a lot more effective than the other way around.

Portal is a variation of the Attack Node, and many other Skill that influence a node also affect a portal. This skill lets you create a network of portal that are all linked with each other, treating the spaces they're on as if they were right next to each other. Everyone benefits from this, but opponents should beware, because the owner of the portal can decide from which portal they will emerge.

Another Attack Node variant is Refraction Point, which you can target to have your Techniques bounce off of them. This does allow you to increase the effective range of your Techniques and hit around corners, though Attack Nodes already do that. What Attack Nodes can't let you do is to use area effect Techniques to create makeshift chain lightning, or just carpet bomb the whole place (though to preserve everyone's sanity, no target can be attacked more than once with this).
The Situational Skill Refraction Chain makes Refraction Points even handy for single-target Techniques, as bouncing your attacks off makes them deal more damage.

Swift Step is your typical Shounen anime / Zone of the Enders gimmick of "move so fast you appear to be teleporting". It let's you move pretty much anywhere as long as you can pay the Stamina to cover the distance, limited by the Skill's level. For extra fun, the Situational Skill Transposition let you zap over to a spece occupied by another character to switch positions with him unless they resist.
Like Fly, you can ditch the Stamina cost with the endgame skill Free Swift Step. You are still limited by the Skill's limit on how far you can go per use.

Finally, have you ever complained about how hard it is to get the squishy wizard to safety once the enemies reach him? Or about the dwarf fighter who is to slow? Well, with Toss, you can throw any nearby ally a good distance (equal to a moderately fast character, further boostable with levels) in any direction you want.

Reaction Skills

These have some fun options. Sure, there's your typical Cover that lets you play bodyguard, but then there's stuff like Afterimage, which lets create a Clone while you do a Swift Step, who ends up either at your old position or at the one you were supposedly stepping to (kinda like Chizuru Kagura from King of Fighters).

Area Shield adds utility to your Aura defenses, letting you defend for your allies if you pay additional Stamina and the attack in question is an Area Effect. Another goodie for Aura users comes with Line Deflect, which lets you redirect Line Attacks you just successfully defended against (though you can't have go back exactly the way it came from). You can combine both of these effects with Deflecting Shield, which lets you redirect line attacks from any ally you defended for.
In a similar way, Damage Feedback boosts your Muscle defense by having failed melee attacks against you hurt the attacker (your pecs are just that hard)
If Dexterity defenses are more of your thing, there's Diving Escape, which grants you a free movement action if you successfully evaded an area attack (though you can only move in a direction that would've gotten you away from the blast). A bit weaker is Mobile Dodge, though that one works with any attack.
For Intuition-heavy character, you can get Opportunistic Dodge, which throws the attacker off balance for an attack bonus.
Mean while, Resolve characters can use Push Away to basically have enemies bounce off of you.

Counterattack works kinda interesting in Valor, as it lets you "store" Techniques to be used to interrupt enemies that try to attack you, potentially making them waste their attack. Pretty neat in situations were you have no use for an Attack Action. Just ave it up for later.
Counterattacking becomes more useful with Clash a little later on. Now you use your Counterattack as a defense, and whoever wins not only lands his hit, but completely negates the other's attack.

For a more D&D feel, you can take Interrupt Attack for Attacks of Opportunity. This only works in conjunction with Counterattack as you have to draw from your stored Techniques. On the plus side, any hit will make the enemy's Move drop by quite a bit.
With Ranged Interrupt, you can essentially turn these Attacks of Opportunity into reaction fire, letting you interrupt anyone who comes withing your prepared Technique's range. Since the Move reduction of your Interrupt increases with the Skills level, you can stop several enemies dead in their tracks if you've saved up enough attacks.

Overdrive Skills

These give you new ways to spend your Valor. They work a bit similar to most Permanent Skills in that they boost your combat statistics (namely Active Attributes, your base damage and your Defense/Resistance), giving you a nifty buff that lasts for the rest of the scene. The longer the fight lasts, the more dangerous you become.

Challenge Skills

These are - no surprise here - for Challenge Scenes, and they include the only Skill that actually works like a skill in most games: Proficiency, which makes you a bit better at one type of Challenge Action.

The most high-end Challenge Skill is Favorable Success, which lets you affect a second meter related to the one you successfully affected.

Another interesting one is Asset, which can be anything from wealth or conncections and grants a further bonus if the asset would be of use in the situation. Challenge Technique works similar, but applies to a specific type of situation.

The remaining Skills also work on specific situations (and can therefore be taken multiple times), letting you try to determine which action would work the best in the current situation, or spend Valor to avoid a failed roll from messing things up.

Companion Skills

If you want to be a druid, Pokemon trainer or Stand/Persona user, you gotta take the Companion Skill. Not only does it give you access to up to 4 Companions, but also to various Companion-related Skills to boost them.

To avoid the madness typical involved with having a character rule supreme over the action economy with his private army, Companions in this game are basically Attack Nodes that can move around. Like Attack Nodes, you can use any of your Techniques through your Companions, and there are specific Limits you can slap onto your Techniques so that they can either only be used by your Companions or only by a specific Companion.
Unlike Attack Nodes, Companions can actually be attacked by normal means. Instead of giving everyone his own stats and Health, they instead defend like you would, and any hit against them disables them until you revive them with a Support Action.

The Companion Skills, among other things, let you use your Companion as flanking buddies, grant them Zone of Control to slow down enemies, and essentially act as ablative shielding for you and later your allies by playing bodyguard.
You can also boost their default Movement rate and grant individual Companions permanent flight, which can be quite handy with the Skills Mount and Ally Mount, which lets you temporarily remove a Companion from play to take on his movement rate and flight ability.

Boost Skills

Similar to Weaken Skills, these can only be attained through buffs. They act as a general boost for your range, reach, attack and defense. A pretty fun one is Powerful Blow, which makes your attacks push people away.


Somewhat like this.

The most interesting one is Change Attributes, which lets you switch to an entirely new set of Base Attributes. Naturally, this is less something an ally slaps onto you and more a buff you aplly to yourself as part of a transformation (which are covered in the Techniques section).

Creating Skills

The game has a few guidelines on how to create Skills and determine their costs, using Telepathy and Mind Reading as exmaples.

Overall, I quite like the ideas here. Attack Nodes and especially Refraction Points are pretty cool, and I like the idea of storing attacks for later use (which is a bit like the combat system in Xenosaga, except reactive). A Pokemon-style campaign will probably need a bit more crunch added to the Companions, but that's not too surprising as they aren't supposed to take center stage by default.

Next Time: Techniques - can you go Super Saiyan? Or do you prefer a Devil Trigger?

Doresh fucked around with this message at 21:42 on Apr 8, 2016

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Part 9: Autoduelling in Motion

Vehicle Movement

The first thing that's done away with for the vehicle rules is the phased movement from Car Wars. And though that's a logical simplication - the phased, simultaneous movement of Car Wars slows the game down demonstrably - you end up with some weird Murphy's Rules because of it. For example, with two cars going a steady 60 MPH down a straight highway, one can ram the other by the driver gaining the initiative, even though they're going the same speed.

Another change that's acknowledged is that changing the scale to GURPS scale also has issues. In Car Wars, a vehicle counter is 1" long, and a car going 60 MPH will go 6" as a result. In GURPS scale, the size of a car ends up being 5" long, and a car going 60 MPH will go 30 hexes, or 30". Obviously few tables will be able to contain a map of the size necessary have cars driving traveling at that speed, unless you're willing to play on the floor. As such, it recommends that vehicles use the Car Wars scale, but everything included in this set is at the GURPS scale, and you'll have to buy Car Wars to use the smaller scale... though I suppose if you have GURPS Autoduel, the chances of you not having Car Wars are slim.



Like later versions of Car Wars, this includes a "turning key", a piece of cardboard containing various angles to steer your car with and make the resulting turn. Now, in Car Wars you're expending a resource you have each turn called "Handling Class", and when it's spent, you have to make a random roll to maintain control. However, in GURPS it just has you make skill rolls whenever you make a turn or encounter a hazard. A hazard can be debris in the road, an oil slick from an oil jet or the impact of getting hit with a rocket, while a turn is literally any turn. This means unlike Car Wars, you're rolling way, way more often, which gives a lot of chances to lose control. Granted, due to the 3d6 curve, you're not as likely to lose control given decent skill (and it's likely to only be minor, like a skid or fishtail). Still, it's a lot of bookkeeping and rolling. In addition, because of the 3d6 curve, you have weird Murphy's Rule effects. For example, at certain skill levels, taking a slow 15 degree turn over three seconds can be more dangerous than taking a sharp 45 degree turn over one second. It also gives the Murphy's Rules that ordinary drivers should be used to skidding and fishtailing regularly, since it'll be happening to them every third turn or so.

That all being said, because Driver skill plays a larger part in manuevering - the amount you fail the skill roll by determines the range of control loss you suffer - GURPS drivers are much less likely to suddenly send their car into a spinout or vaulting roll like Car Wars drivers might. Thankfully, most vehicles give a bonus to Driver rolls.



Oh, and as a taste of the kind of things I won't bore you with:

GURPS Autoduel posted:

To maneuver with a trailer, first move the tractor in a normal fashion, using the turning key or any other method. Then, move the trailer counter as follows:

First, move the trailer in a straight line along its long axis the same distance the tractor moved - if the tractor moved one inch, the trailer moves straight ahead one inch.

Second, hold down the rear corner of the trailer on the side the tractor moved toward. (If the tractor turned or drifted right, hold down the right rear corner.) Then pivot the trailer until its kingpin is as close as possible to the fifth wheel of the tractor.

Third, move the trailer (usually forward 1/8" to 1/4") until the kingpin is exactly over the fifth wheel again.

Yeah, we can skip that kind of stuff.



We have rules for collisions, which are even deadlier than before, probably too much so - a tractor-trailer ramming a subcompact head-on at 40 MPH will tear both vehicles to smithereens. The subcompact gets it worse, of course, but the difference is academic to our dead truck driver. This is, of course, because of the way armor works (or rather, doesn't work) in GURPS. Any hit over 30-40 MPH is likely to wreck a vehicle, which first seems realistic, but when you realize these vehicles are supposed to be heavily armored death machines, it doesn't quite work. Personal injury is also inevitable, and 60 MPH, generally lethal.

Now, ram plates reverse this situation, making rams not only survivable but preferable, halving the damage taken and doubling the damage dealt. Early on in Car Wars competitive history (there was a tournament scene), dedicated ram cars became a dominant strategy that were later nerfed, but they're still in the winners circle here. If you're looking to build the nastiest duel car, just aim for high acceleration and a ram plate - just don't go trying to ram any buses.



A lot of Car Wars rules are translated faithfully, and for all its professions for trying to remain simple, GURPS Autoduel can get quite complicated. From tracking debris and obstacles left behind by damaged cars to damage resistance being slowly whittled down by attacks to tracking sustained fire aiming, there's a lot to juggle. There's also having your car set on fire vs fire extinguishers, penalties from paint or smoke, tire-busting spikes, mines (really deadly compared to their Car Wars counterparts), etc.

Combat is potentially fairly deadly - most mid-range weapons do around 4d6-5d6 dice of damage, and most vehicles have armor in the 8-18 range. Unless you're aiming (at penalty) at an external target like a tire or turret, any damage that blows through is then allocated randomly to a component. The crew is a likely target on the chart, though, so make sure you bring a few "friends" when driving to see who takes the random hit. The psychopathic amongst you may want to pack your back seats with babies, since they presumably take up less weight and space, and the little ones can take those recoilless rifle shells you'd rather not have sharing space with your head. Just make sure to pack earplugs - babies can be rather upset at the sound of rockets impacting the passenger side door.

GURPS Autoduel posted:

The Vehicular Damage Allocation Table should be sufficient for most vehicle types, namely cars, trikes, motorcycles, and tractors. Characters attacking motorcycles may find a number of "hits" passing through the cycle and doing no damage ... but that's reality.

Is it? I'm pretty sure that's not... but cycles are a bit poo poo and could use the accidental help.



We get detailed repair rules, rules for shooting / smashing buildings, salvaging parts, cover for cars, full weapon rules for each weapon, spraying an area with bullets (this is before GURPS had detailed automatic weapons rules), blowthrough rules (a max damage players can take from weapons), explosions, and of course we would be remiss in the era of gaming without special critical hit and critical miss tables for vehicles and modern weapons to occasionally end a PC's career with an unlucky roll. We also get rough conversion rules for Car Wars characters, and wrap up the vehicle rules here.

Next: Driving the Game

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012
Fallen Rib

Wapole Languray posted:

Well, that spell is like that because they didn't even consider using it for trans purposes in the book, in the game it's pretty explicitly just as a way to explain why the villains can create hideous monsters and the Orc-analogues of the setting. Blue Rose kinda forgets trans is a thing, which is understandable: Gay Rights was a big thing when they wrote it but the idea of Trans Rights being a big issue is actually fairly new and the creators probably didn't even think of it.

Actually I'm pretty sure they do mention that spell being used for such purposes at least in passing, it's just they couch it in terms of using it to transition as a serious dilemma to consider. I agree that it's probably not meant in an intentionally harmful way, it's just a bit awkward.

Libertad!
Oct 30, 2013

You can have the last word, but I'll have the last laugh!
Who did the art for the Valor RPG? I looked on Drive-Thru RPG and it only lists 2 authors? Did one or both of them also do the artwork?

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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



Kai Tave posted:

Actually I'm pretty sure they do mention that spell being used for such purposes at least in passing, it's just they couch it in terms of using it to transition as a serious dilemma to consider. I agree that it's probably not meant in an intentionally harmful way, it's just a bit awkward.
Given the attitude and style of Blue Rose I assume there would be multiple routes to transitioning, but the fell sorcery might be both the quickest and the "easiest" to get hold of. I forget if that stuff was bad because it was against the law or bad because it involved worshiping things with tentacles.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015

Libertad! posted:

Who did the art for the Valor RPG? I looked on Drive-Thru RPG and it only lists 2 authors? Did one or both of them also do the artwork?

The book itself credits 7 artists: Finni Chang, Zearyu, Milk+Ink, Alex Shriner, Kylee Henke, Missy Pena and Soo Shin. Though I don't know who did which exact piece.

AweStriker
Oct 6, 2014

Doresh posted:

Characters with a Malevolent Entity get access to an exclusive Skill: Dark Healing. No Stamina cost involved here, just spend your Support Action and you recover a Health Increment. Unfortunately, this Skill also triggers your Entity, so don't overdo it.

This is actually one of a very, very small number of things which is a Free Action, at least in my copy of the book.

There are a few Active Skills I'm surprised didn't make that writeup: Provoke is basically the MMO tank's trick of making your enemies attack you as opposed to some other guy, and it keys off Resolve, meaning anyone using it is likely to be able to take the hits. Battle Analysis and its cousin Exploit Weakness essentially give you or one of your allies a Determination for defense/offense only, respectively, if you succeed in an Intuition roll against them - but it has to work the first time, since it can only be done once per enemy. Those last two are only available at higher levels, but then again so are Portal and Refraction Point.

One of my dream builds is a Portal-oriented character that does things akin to say Merak from Gunvolt or that traffic-light partpickle accelerator that turned up somewhere in the second half of Problem Sleuth.

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Quinn2win
Nov 9, 2011

Foolish child of man...
After reading all this,
do you still not understand?
One of my favorite gimmick Valor builds I've ever seen was a guy who would surround himself with barriers, fill the space inside with damage-over-time area attacks that wreck anything inside other than him, then spawn Portals around the battlefield and use techniques to suck enemies through them into his miniature hell dimension.

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