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Humbug Scoolbus
Apr 25, 2008

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


Clapping Larry

I-I-I just can't tell anymore.

EDIT:

Reading through Dogs of War again, there is a reason and it actually makes sense.

Humbug Scoolbus fucked around with this message at 15:50 on Oct 30, 2018

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Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




Once you get into the idea of far-flung settlements of <2,000 people waging "war" against each other, it doesn't make sense to keep trying to make sense of it.

MJ12 posted:

Yeah Yu Jing feels really weird because it almost seems that there are two Yu Jing writers. One, who knows a bit more about Chinese politics and history and is writing a Deng Xiaoping thought-like state where the party and the state apparatus have internal checks and balances and the whole thing is a bit oppressive and sometimes callous but perfectly livable and does more or less right for the majority of its citizens, and one who basically writes it as an evil empire with Judge Dredd types running amok killing babies for being Japanese.
Playing devil's advocate: the United States is simultaneously a liberal democracy, the world's biggest arms dealer, and the scourge of democracy in Latin America.

grassy gnoll
Aug 27, 2006

The pawsting business is tough work.

Halloween Jack posted:

Playing devil's advocate: the United States is simultaneously a liberal democracy, the world's biggest arms dealer, and the scourge of democracy in Latin America.

Well, by contrast Infinity's take on America is, in total,

    A hilariously bad understanding of how NASA works
    Racist cowboys
    That's it

I feel safe saying there's not a level of sophistication and nuance directed at Yu Jing and only Yu Jing.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Humbug Scoolbus posted:

I-I-I just can't tell anymore.

EDIT:

Reading through Dogs of War again, there is a reason and it actually makes sense.

War's out of a job if he actually wins?

Humbug Scoolbus
Apr 25, 2008

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


Clapping Larry

Bieeanshee posted:

War's out of a job if he actually wins?

No. All the Horsemen are stuck on Earth and he wants to be King poo poo of Turd Mountain, but Pestilence's Epidemics in New York City have been loving him over. War needs to destroy the Icon in Boston to keep it from pulling people away from his Icon of the Pentagon.

potatocubed
Jul 26, 2012

*rathian noises*


Nessus posted:

Ah, but perhaps you need to defend a planet with an ecosphere and you can't just flit it out of the way or use some kind of hellacious contraterrene matter that will sterilize everyone's buttholes for twenty light years around. Earth, for instance, or Arisia. That's cool: just build a sunbeam!



No biggie. Firing a Sunbeam requires a specialized Mental/Very Hard skill for the operators in order to hit their target. If their collective rolls succeed, the star dims dramatically and a massive-rear end ray is released. On a failure, the star flares wildly and every planet in that system suffers a year - cumulatively, mind you - of exceedingly strange weather. On a critical failure, the star becomes permanently variable, which will soon render all but the hardiest and most adaptable life forms in that system extinct. If it was ALREADY variable, and you get ANOTHER critical failure, roll 2d: in that many days, the star will go supernova, obliterating its entire system and becoming a navigational hazard to shipping in the sector.

I remember reading about one of these in a Star*Drive novel in the early 2000s, of all places. When you said that the Lensmen books were the source of all scifi inspiration, you weren't kidding!

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




grassy gnoll posted:

I feel safe saying there's not a level of sophistication and nuance directed at Yu Jing and only Yu Jing.
Yu Jing earned a lot of goodwill from me for actually having a coherent premise of an economically ascendant China absorbing its neighbours, but they squandered that with the Neo-Confucian Emperor crap.

Confucianism is endlessly fascinating. Nobody knows who Confucianus was, or what precepts she taught, but when we don't understand something Asian, it's because Confucianism.

Also, Asian people loving love emperors. Even as we speak, Xi Jinping and Shinzo Abe are conspiring to give most of their power to some inbred dipshit in a funny hat, probably also because Confucianism.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



I mean, I'm down with a resurgent Imperial China. I love Imperial China as a historic setting, and I've written a sci fi take on a resurgent Imperial China that is simultaneously authoritarian and heavily policed but also actually cares about its massive amounts of people.

It just doesn't resemble Yu Jing, like, at all.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





potatocubed posted:

I remember reading about one of these in a Star*Drive novel in the early 2000s, of all places. When you said that the Lensmen books were the source of all scifi inspiration, you weren't kidding!
Pretty much everything that doesn't center around robots/AI or technological developments Smith could not have reasonably anticipated, such as the Internet, has antecedents in Lensman. And Sean Barrett overstates greatly the absence of electronic computers. (He is not wrong to say that they do not use them nearly as much as we would expect.)

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.


Now we return to Adventure, and a discussion of Traits. I’m going to pick and choose what I give detail to, there’s a lot of pointless lists here.

Chapter 3: Traits

The chapter starts with a list of potential Origins and the Background options that go along with them. You can probably find pretty much anything you need in either this list or by analogy to it. There’s not much to talk about except the very first option (they’re alphabetical) is to be an ‘Aboriginal’, which could have been called something less loaded. Let’s move on to Natures.

Natures each have a Virtue and Vice version, and we need to pick one for each. These don’t work quite the way Virtues and Vices do in new world of darkness. Your Virtue gives you a circumstance in which you regain Willpower, whereas your Vice gives you circumstances where you have to spend Willpower to resist doing something. There’s not a ton of these listed, so I’ll just go over them. They're super variable as to how useful/obtrusive they'd be in play.

Architect: As a Virtue, you see the bigger picture and regain Willpower every time you take a concrete step towards attaining your greater goals. As a Vice, you have to spend Willpower to follow someone else’s plans or not get lovely when flaws in your own plans are pointed out. By the way the game strongly suggests not taking both the Virtue and Vice from a Nature, because a lot of those will kinda lead to you getting hosed over.

Bravo: As a Virtue, regain Willpower when you defeat a foe that’s equal or superior to you or force one to back down. As a Vice, when you do that thing above you have to spend Willpower not to gloat about it and monologue on how your victory came about. Which is amazing.

Caregiver: As a Virtue, regain Willpower when you receive proof you’ve helped another. As a Vice, spend Willpower to resist helping someone who seems to be in distress. Unlike the last two, this Vice encourages you to get into extra unnecessary scrapes instead of having you do some sorta lovely stuff.

Charmer: As a Virtue, regain Willpower when you cheer someone up. As a Vice, spend Willpower to tell someone something they don’t want to hear. You’d get along great with the Architect.

Cynic: As a Virtue, regain Willpower when poo poo goes south but you’ve got a backup plan in place. As a Vice, spend Willpower if you take advantage of luck instead of something you planned and worked for. That’s pretty rough honestly, might be a good one to take a pass on.

Expert: As a Virtue, regain Willpower when you teach someone about whatever you’re an expert in, or when you do something really cool with that skill. As a Vice, spend Willpower to avoid showing off. Be really careful what you specify as the ‘skill’ unless you like spending all your Willpower not to have to make lovely trick shots in combat to prove how cool you are.

Explorer: As a Virtue, regain Willpower whenever you make a significant discovery. As a Vice, spend Willpower not to go running off half-cocked in the face of such things. These are both kinda spooky, because you’re rarely going to be regaining Willpower from the Virtue but much more often going to get hosed if you take the Vice.

Fanatic: As a Virtue, regain Willpower when events confirm to you your belief in the rightness of your cause. As a Vice, spend Willpower to resist making a sacrifice for your cause. The Vice is VERY dangerous, as it’s clear that it’s any sacrifice and if you run out of Willpower you are liable to be forced to jump on a grenade or something equally foolish.

Follower: As a Virtue, regain Willpower when you do your job and things go well. As a Vice, spend Willpower to take charge or disobey an order. For some people this would work really well, because not everyone’s a big fan of taking charge in RP situations.

Hedonist: As a Virtue, regain Willpower when you and others have a good time. As a Vice, spend Willpower to resist said good times (though if there’s an obvious certain and severe consequence you an forego the spend). I’m glad they added that caveat, because the Vice is already bad enough.

Hot Shot: As a Virtue, regain Willpower when you survive a dangerous situation that you entered on purpose. As a Vice, spend Willpower not to do stupid poo poo that has no point just for its own sake. If you like being Chaotic Stupid I guess this is the Vice for you!

Jester: As a Virtue, regain Willpower when you lighten the mood. As a Vice, spend Willpower not to just constantly talk poo poo. Big fan of this one, especially compared to Hot Shot.

Leader: As a Virtue, regain Willpower when others succeed because of your plans. As a Vice, spend Willpower not to Darth Vader people who fail to do as you ask. If you like saying “You’ve failed me for the last time” this is for you.

Paragon: As a Virtue, regain Willpower when you stick to your ideals. As a Vice, spend Willpower to accept a compromise. A great way to be an enforced rear end in a top hat at the table.

Perfectionist: As a Virtue, regain Willpower when your planning manages to deal with unforeseen complications. As a Vice, spend Willpower to trust anything that’s not up to your standards of perfection. A fan of this one, too.

Skeptic: As a Virtue, regain Willpower when you use tried-and-true methods to succeed. As a Vice, spend Willpower or disregard poo poo that does not match the way you think the world should work. This is going to be a real disadvantage when poo poo gets weird.

Survivor: As a Virtue, regain Willpower when you survive danger on your own merits. As a Vice, spend Willpower not to do what is best for you in a crisis and gently caress everyone else. This has a nasty potential for compelling you to gently caress off mid combat if things go sour.

I like having actual mechanical poo poo that has roleplaying carrots and sticks. It encourages you to get ‘in character’ as however you’ve decided your character acts. They’re definitely not all made equal, though, and some of them can put you into some seriously awkard situations or make you kinda have to be a giant rear end in a top hat. Keep it in mind and if it’s getting intrusive assess how often you really require Willpower be spent.

There’s a section on Allegiances that talks a bit about some of the groups mentioned in the opening fiction that you could potentially be connected to. It also suggests some backgrounds that fit with membership in the group. Not much to it, really.

We then head to Attributes. Before the explanation, they slip a little feature in: Any Attribute above 3 gets a Quality. You describe a narrow subset of activities connected to that Attribute, and when you do something that ties into you get to reroll your tens and add any additional successes to your total. In other games they call this taking ten again, but there’s no term for it here. There’s not much super interesting in the actual Attributes except for a loving hilarious rule connected with Wits. Basically for every point of Wits above 3 you can give the Storyteller a note with a straight line that you then presumably have a pre-prepared comeback for, allowing your character to be more witty than you are.

Abilities have as has been mentioned Specialties and can have Mastery. A specialty is a situation in which you get to add an extra die to your pool, and Mastery is an effective sixth dot in the Ability. Not much else to see here.

Backgrounds are a bit more interesting. Allies are, well, allies. They’re defined people who you can generally count on for help but who also sometimes need your help. At higher point investment they can be Inspired and otherwise very valuable. Backing represents your status in an organization. Cipher makes it hard to investigate your character, and actually has a defined mechanical effect (increasing the difficulty of rolls to investigate you). Contacts are people with fewer ties to you than Allies. They’re associates you can generally count on to be willing to deal, but not exactly friends. Followers are people who work for you, they can’t be Inspired and most of them are extras who kinda suck. Gadgets are super-science items that we’ll see the rules for much later. Influence is vague social power. Menagerie gives you animal companions, which is fun. At five dots you can have an Inspired animal companion. Mentor is what it says on the side of the box, your mentor’s power is determined by your rating. Nemesis is loving cool, you define some enemies (the higher your rating the more powerful) and you can roll against it when you know they’re involved to gain temporary Inspiration as you are much more motivated to take them down. It can also give you temporary Reputation and allies in your nemeses’ other enemies. Reputation is celebrity and the power that comes with that. Resources is a measure of how much money you make, as you’d expect. Finally, Sanctum is a sweet rear end secret base.

Enhancements are things you can buy for most of these at five dots, and are super cool nebulous things that can have some broad overarching power. I’ll hit them in specific.

Artifact: The sixth level of Gadget, you can have a super sick super-science item that does some pretty crazy stuff well out of proportion to what you could have gotten at five.

Enigma: The sixth level of Cipher, this makes your secret identity essentially inviolate. You’re Superman, able to put on some loving glasses and suddenly nobody can tell you’re Clark Kent. Unless you’re being super careless people don’t even get to roll to figure out the poo poo Cipher would normally cover, and your Cipher rating can now be distributed among other people instead.

In Charge: The sixth level of Backing, it’s exactly what it says. You’re the person in charge of your particular organization.

Kingpin: The sixth level of Contacts, you can basically just come up with a contact you’d need and boom they exist and are down to talk to you. You can expect them to help you with most reasonable requests, as well.

Legions: The sixth level of Followers, you’ve got far more or far better followers than normal. It’s super nebulous and you need to work out the details based on what exactly you want out of your Legions.

Renown: The sixth level of Influence. Within the areas you are influential in, you are considered one of the best and your opinions are hard to gainsay.

Sanctum Sanctorum: The sixth level of Sanctum, your secret base is loving AWESOME. You’ve got Doctor Wily’s Skull-shaped Fortress or whatever and could literally hold off an army for a while if need be.

Wealth Beyond Avarice: The sixth level of Resources, it effectively gives you Resources 8. You can do all sorts of crazy poo poo with money, as you’d expect.

We move on to Willpower. Temporary Willpower points can be spent for free successes on a roll as noted in the main rules, and as discussed above are required to avoid indulging your Vice. They also come into play when resisting certain Knacks, and could be required as well in situations where you need to resist your instinctive actions. You regain Willpower for acting in accordance with your Virtue, getting a good night’s rest, during downtime, whenever the Storyteller thinks you’ve done something you’d feel awesome about, and at the end of a story.

This is where we finally talk about what those Inspiration Facets do.

Intuitive Facet: You add your Intuitive Facet to your Initiative score, first of all. You can also spend a point of temporary Inspiration to add your Intuitive Facet to any dice pool involving an instant mental reaction.

Reflective Facet: You can add your Reflective Facet to any roll that involves waiting for something to happen or end. You can also spend a point of temporary Inspiration to add your Reflective Facet to any dice pool involving an extended effort (though this does not have to be an extended check, just something that takes a lot of time).

Destructive Facet: You can add your Destructive Facet as automatic damage successes to an attack once per game session. You can also spend a point of temporary Inspiration to add your Destructive Facet to any attempt to destroy a non-physical thing.

Outside the Facets, you also spend Inspiration to do the following:

Activate a Knack- Psychic and Dynamic Knacks often require you to spend Inspiration to activate them.

Dramatic Editing- You can do some crazy poo poo with the direction of the story at the cost of Inspiration. We’ll talk about the systems for this in a later update.

Cliffhanger- A special case of Dramatic Editing involving escaping certain death.

Recharge Invention- Super-science gadgets often need recharging and one way to do it is to channel your own Inspiration into them.

Sheer Heroism- A counterpoint to spending Willpower for automatic successes, this lets you spend a point of Inspiration to double your dice pool for a roll. It’s a nice option for situations where you have a bunch of dice and want to guarantee some serious results.

Intuition- Spend a point to ask the Storyteller for a hint or some other useful information. A mechanical way to deal with situations where the players have totally lost the plot and don’t even know where to start on something.

Regaining Inspiration is done in a number of ways, some of which can only take you up to your permanent Inspiration and some of which can exceed it up to your Inspiration cap (again usually 10, but could be higher). Resting for two days and just doing the poo poo your character likes doing regains you one point up to your permanent Inspiration. Getting at least five extra successes beyond the difficulty of a relatively mundane action where the extra success has little consequence gives you a point even if you’re at the cap, though this doesn’t apply if you used something that cost Inspiration in some way to get that result. If you’d regain Willpower but are already at maximum, you gain Inspiration instead. In one particularly cool twist, if you do come up with something awesome that benefits people beyond yourself and spend Inspiration to do it, you GAIN one inspiration instead of spending it. Don’t rely on this, though, because it specifically suggests that you don’t get this if you’re obviously trying to game it. Finally, you an gain a point for doing something super cool that’s in character with your highest Inspiration facet.

I can’t hate a power stat that rewards you for being over the top and making things more entertaining, even if it is overly complicated.

I’ll cover Knacks next time.

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.


By the way I feel like part of the charm of Aeon Continuum settings is how busted as gently caress even a starting character can be so if anyone wants to suggest some character concepts I can see how broken an incarnation of them I can make.

Ratoslov
Feb 15, 2012

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



Matilda Punchwitch is BACK! And this time, she's PISSED!

SirPhoebos
Dec 10, 2007

WELL THAT JUST HAPPENED!

Sid Melton, suburban carpenter.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





Feinne posted:

By the way I feel like part of the charm of Aeon Continuum settings is how busted as gently caress even a starting character can be so if anyone wants to suggest some character concepts I can see how broken an incarnation of them I can make.
Grizabella Jazzbaby, the Ultimate Flapper.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



Reginald Vanderflith, who only has two noticeable traits: Being Rich and Being Stubborn.

Punting
Sep 9, 2007
I am very witty: nit-witty, dim-witty, and half-witty.



Feinne posted:

By the way I feel like part of the charm of Aeon Continuum settings is how busted as gently caress even a starting character can be so if anyone wants to suggest some character concepts I can see how broken an incarnation of them I can make.

Batman

Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

Or later, later's fine.
But now would be good.



Also, The Flash. The best/worst test of a supers or supers-adjacent system is how they handle superspeed and I cannot wait to see how Adventure! handles it.

Leraika
Jun 14, 2015

slime time



I want to see Hildibrand Manderville made in every system honestly

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



Superintelligent gorilla. Because there's always one.

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


Leraika posted:

I want to see Hildibrand Manderville made in every system honestly

I mean this is a good stress test, generally

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Leraika posted:

I want to see Hildibrand Manderville made in every system honestly

Well, yes?

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




I feel like someone ought to ask for The Shadow and Doc Savage.

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.


Chernobyl Peace Prize posted:

Also, The Flash. The best/worst test of a supers or supers-adjacent system is how they handle superspeed and I cannot wait to see how Adventure! handles it.

The closest equivalent is by FAR the most broken Knack a Stalwart can take, which is still laughably weak compared to its Aberrant equivalent.

Knacks are going to be split up because I'm going to describe what each one does, because some of them are A M A Z I N G. Like Daredevils feel on paper like they're maybe really weak but you can take a Knack that makes the cars of other people explode whenever they crash because it's awesome when that happens. In fact that's how every Heroic Knack works, if it's a thing that's loving awesome when the hero of some fiction does it you can probably do it.

Feinne fucked around with this message at 02:55 on Oct 31, 2018

Foxfire_
Nov 8, 2010



Nessus posted:

I'm no physicist but I'm sure there's some clever reason why being temporarily immune to inertia would let you go faster than light - at least by the physics of the time.

Nope, makes zero sense according to the physics of the time (which are the same as now, general relativity). Besides taking infinite energy to do, faster than light travel also implies time travel. If you could do it, you can leave a planet, turn around and come back, and end up arriving before you left

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





Foxfire_ posted:

Nope, makes zero sense according to the physics of the time (which are the same as now, general relativity). Besides taking infinite energy to do, faster than light travel also implies time travel. If you could do it, you can leave a planet, turn around and come back, and end up arriving before you left
I don't get the latter. How can you arrive before you left? Certainly any reflected photons, propagating at the speed of light, would suggest that I was still there after I had flitted to Jupiter - but this is just a false after-image. From my perspective if I go there (in 2 seconds) and come back (in 2 seconds), and ignoring for a moment the starkly inconcievable velocities involved - how have I arrived before I left?

I was an education major, bear with me. (It may be relevant that Smith also included a hyper-speed interplanetary radio - exact speed unclear but there was an irritating time delay when communicating between the two galaxies of the setting.)

Ratoslov
Feb 15, 2012

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



Nessus posted:

I don't get the latter. How can you arrive before you left? Certainly any reflected photons, propagating at the speed of light, would suggest that I was still there after I had flitted to Jupiter - but this is just a false after-image. From my perspective if I go there (in 2 seconds) and come back (in 2 seconds), and ignoring for a moment the starkly inconcievable velocities involved - how have I arrived before I left?

The extremely abbreviated version is that 'space-time' is not a metaphor or a empty phrase, space-and-time is one thing. If you move fast enough through space, you are also moving through time. Flitting back and forth like this is the absolute simplest way to time-travel with FTL, if inefficient. It's not the reflected protons making you appear to be here after you flitted to Jupiter, it's you showing up before you left that makes you appear to be here after flitting to Jupiter.

MonsterEnvy
Feb 4, 2012


I decided to try doing one of these.

Dungeons and Dragons Volo's Guide to Monsters



Volo's Guide as it shall be called for short from here on out, is the first of D&D 5e's attempts at a different type of monster book, with them not being interested in just doing a Monster Manual II, III and so on. So they tried a new style and I think it really works. The book is divided into three chunks. Monster Lore covering some of the most notable monsters in the game, New Player Races and feat options, and a Bestiary of new monsters for the edition.

The book is framed as being the newest guidebook by Volothamp Geddarm. A traveler and (very) minor wizard who tries to find out information about numerous topics with (varying) accuracy, and putting it into guidebooks. He originates in the Forgotten Realms setting and is one of it's oldest characters. Other notable FR character Elminster will also make comments throughout the book, mostly to poo poo on Volo. Despite the presence of these two characters, the book is largely presented as setting neutral D&D Info that can be put into nearly any setting.

For the Preface I might as well just link the page in full.



If you are worried the entire book will be like this, don't worry the rest of the book just has little comments to the side from the two and nothing more.

Chapter 1 Monster Lore

The first chapter is devoted to covering 9 notable monsters and expanding on their behavior, origins, and lairs. And is intended to give adventure and NPC ideas for campaigns. Saying "If you plunder this chapter for ideas and maps the next time you create an adventure or a villain, then this material has served its purpose."
The Nine Monsters this chapter covers are Beholders, Giants, Gnolls, Goblinoids, Hags, Kobolds, Mind Flayers, Orcs, and Yuan-Ti. And I shall starting covering the first of them tomorrow.

Next Beholders: Bad Dreams Come True

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





Ratoslov posted:

The extremely abbreviated version is that 'space-time' is not a metaphor or a empty phrase, space-and-time is one thing. If you move fast enough through space, you are also moving through time. Flitting back and forth like this is the absolute simplest way to time-travel with FTL, if inefficient. It's not the reflected protons making you appear to be here after you flitted to Jupiter, it's you showing up before you left that makes you appear to be here after flitting to Jupiter.
I see, so the Bergenholm also erases my time clones... no wonder they named it after him, it's a hell of a device.

e: vvv Yeah they talk about ether a lot

Nessus fucked around with this message at 07:39 on Oct 31, 2018

Joe Slowboat
Nov 9, 2016

Higgledy-Piggledy Whale Statements





I imagine that in a setting where you can just say 'inertia doesn't' with a device that isn't some kind of terrifying physics reactor that rends matter into shreds of radiation... Relativity just plain isn't true. There's some other model of the universe that's significantly more accurate than Einstein's, and the speed of light in a vacuum is not actually the speed limit we think it is.

For one thing, it sounds like light in this setting moves at the speed it does in a vacuum because of the friction of vacuum on light particles, so it's a setting with a luminiferous aether by implication.

Angrymog
Jan 29, 2012

Really Madcats




We'll be playing with the first 5 characters - Fighter, Cleric, Elf, Thief, and Magic-User. Unlike in AD&D, our Cleric can't cast spells until 2nd level, and the Elf and Wizard are limited to one spell a day, no bonuses from specialisation or anything like that.

The characters all have decent stats and good equipment for first level characters. Spell wise, the Elf has Detect Magic, Read Magic, and Magic Missile, whilst the Magic-User just has Read Magic and Sleep. The MU definitely gets the better end of the spell stick here - at low levels , Sleep is a 'Party Wins' button for one fight a day. The Cleric and the Thief both have ranged options - a sling, and a crossbow respectively, and the MU has some oil, which can be another great leveller in low-level fights. MU also has a vial of holy water, and a silver dagger.

For the purposes of this LP, the characters are

Magda, Lawful female fighter
Valeria, Neutral female cleric
Actar Rainstrike, Neutral male elf
Alex, Chaotic male thief, and finally
Mikhail, Chaotic male magic-user

The pregens leave their name, gender, and alignment blank for the players to fill in and customise.

The adventure opens with some readout text that does a bit of info-dumping

quote:

You have arrived at the town of Stallanford, on the Duke's Road. The town is bustling and busy, with many visitors and merchants' wagons seeking hostels and stables for horses. This is no ordinary day, for tomorrow is the first day of the King's Festival!

Karameikos has no king, but this long-held festival honours a great hero of the distant past, King Halav. Long before Karameikos was a nation, King Halav of the Traldar folk fought with his warriors against evil Beast-Men. In a great battle, Halav and the king of the Beast-Men fell, but the evil ones fled and the safety of the humans was ensured.

You're rather late in arriving, and many folk are asleep. You sniff the pleasing aroma of cooking meat and warm bread, and you make for the tavern, the Hungry Halfling, for a meal and some rest.

The inn is busy, but you find a table right away. The friendly old halfling who owns the hostelry charges 5 silver pieces for dinner, a bed, and breakfast. It's good value though—the joint of beef you see on the table will fill your stomach after your long journey!

The cutscene continues after the players have deducted the money for the meal and bed.

quote:

After a good meal and a chat with your friends, you settle down to sleep in a comfortable bed with clean linen.

Just before dawn you wake to the sound of shouting in the streets, and you can see flickering flames through your window! Hurriedly, you dress, grab your possessions, and go outside.

Townsfolk and travelers mill about, some crying in panic or fear. You see that the small temple in the town is ablaze! A tall man dressed in gray robes walks over toward you and begs for your help.

"The orcs have raided us! They have burned our temple, and Aralic the Priest cannot be found. They must have kidnapped him! The wretched orcs have to be found and slain, or they will be back to loot and kill again. Two of our people are dead. Will you help?"

At once, another man—older with graying hair and angry eyes, wearing leathers—steps forward beside the gray-robed fellow and holds out his arms to you.

"If you want to follow the orcs, I can track 'em for you. One bunch of warriors has already gone off looking, but they've got the wrong trail. I can show you how to find 'em. My name is Janner and I want to help. My son lies dead from their swords."

His voice breaks as he points into the distance, where the ores have gone.

Here is the adventure you sought! There are evil orcs to fight, a goodly cleric to rescue, and maybe treasure in the caves you are told the ores inhabit!

If the PCs ask for assistance from the village, the following pieces of equipment are produced after half an hour: rope (2 lengths), oil (2 flasks), iron spikes (24), a 10' pole, a tinder box, and 18 torches.

In our case, the characters will take the oil, but already have multiples of the other things. And it's on to our final cutscene before the characters get to the cave.

quote:

You follow Janner at a slow walking pace as he traces a trail that you can only see part of the time—a blood stain in the grass here, a tuft of material or hair there, some heavy footmarks in damp patches. But after a couple of hours Janner stops and points to some foothills about two miles in the distance.

"There", he says. "Head for those caves. That's where the orcs'll be. I wish I could come with you, but an old man like me would slow you down." Though he clearly wishes he could fight with you, Janner turns and heads back to Stallanford. You march on warily, and soon you see a hilly mound with an unmistakable narrow, dark entrance. You are a hundred feet or so away, but the rock cover is such that you can probably get a lot closer without being detected.

What plans will you make against the orcs within?

The intro is pretty rushed, and there aren't many built in opportunities for roleplaying. Also think that it's a bit of a shame having the characters sleep through the raid, but it's always possible that the orcs sneaked up to the church, and no-one knew about the attack until they started setting fire to things.

Despite the cut-scene like nature of the setup, it gets bonus points for actually existing and presenting the characters with a clear and present danger. Personally I'd look at making this their hometown rather than a place they're just passing through, but it's fine for what it is.

Now that the characters are at the caves, it's time to explore Dungeon level 1.



The characters begin a short distance away from the entrance to the orc caves. When they get within 10' of the entrance…

quote:

You see that the cave entrance is about 10 feet wide. A passageway leads north from it for about 10 feet and opens into a larger cave. You can't see much in there because the flickering torchlight is dim, but you hear a loud grunt and snoring. What will you do?

The GM text tells you to get them into a marching order, and get them to give you a clear plan of action. It also says that Infravision won't work outside the cave because they're standing in the light.

In our case, the party decide that whatever is in there is clearly asleep, so they should just go in, trying to keep noise to the minimum. Their marching order is Fighter, Cleric, Elf, Magic User, Thief.

One of the orcs is drunk, and two are asleep. Despite this giving the party an increased chance of surprising them, the dice are not their friends, and the awake orc is able to raise the alarm as the party approach.

To be continued...

oriongates
Mar 14, 2013

Validate Me!




quote:

I don't get the latter. How can you arrive before you left? Certainly any reflected photons, propagating at the speed of light, would suggest that I was still there after I had flitted to Jupiter - but this is just a false after-image. From my perspective if I go there (in 2 seconds) and come back (in 2 seconds), and ignoring for a moment the starkly inconcievable velocities involved - how have I arrived before I left?

I was an education major, bear with me. (It may be relevant that Smith also included a hyper-speed interplanetary radio - exact speed unclear but there was an irritating time delay when communicating between the two galaxies of the setting.)


It comes down to relativity and is really brain-hurty.

But basically, if you assume relativity exists (and it's required to exist for general physics to work) you can't have FTL without violating causality. You'd have to have a physics system where Relativity is not a thing. And on a zoomed out level that's fine, you're just dealing with Star-Wars esque space opera.

Basically, it's not just information (i.e. the reflected light) that propagates at the speed of light, it's also cause and effect. So if you can travel faster than the speed of light then you can, with the right arrangement, arrive somewhere before you left. Or if your mom calls you from pluto and asks you to come visit, you could get there so fast (again, with the direction of travel) that you'd arrive before she calls you and then she wouldn't have to.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
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2014-2018



oriongates posted:

But basically, if you assume relativity exists (and it's required to exist for general physics to work) you can't have FTL without violating causality. You'd have to have a physics system where Relativity is not a thing. And on a zoomed out level that's fine, you're just dealing with Star-Wars esque space opera.

Spoilers, Lensman isn’t and has never been anything but space opera.

oriongates
Mar 14, 2013

Validate Me!




Mors Rattus posted:

Spoilers, Lensman isn’t and has never been anything but space opera.

I did become suspicious when there was an intergalactic flamethrower fueled by suns.

But I didn't want to assume.

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



Note that arriving a useful amount of time before you left requires you to have access to both FTL travel and a way of moving very vast 'normally'.

Deptfordx
Dec 23, 2013



Chernobyl Peace Prize posted:

Also, The Flash. The best/worst test of a supers or supers-adjacent system is how they handle superspeed and I cannot wait to see how Adventure! handles it.

Very true. It tends to be either nerfed to near uselessness or game breakingly powerful.

What systems would you say handle it well?

Strange Matter
Oct 5, 2009

Ask me about Genocide


Mors Rattus posted:

Spoilers, Lensman isn’t and has never been anything but space opera.
Lensman invented space opera.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Deptfordx posted:

Very true. It tends to be either nerfed to near uselessness or game breakingly powerful.

What systems would you say handle it well?

The Cortex+ Marvel does okay.

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised




It's oddly fitting given, as I've said, The Flash is basically a vaguely speed-themed wizard.

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017





Mors Rattus posted:

The Cortex+ Marvel does okay.

I'm always impressed at how well Cortex handles supers stuff. Some people don't like it because, quote, 'it's like making your own comic book' but I don't find that a bug.

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Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Dawgstar posted:

I'm always impressed at how well Cortex handles supers stuff. Some people don't like it because, quote, 'it's like making your own comic book' but I don't find that a bug.

Why would that be a bug in a supers setting?

Double Cross also handles superspeed well primarily because the only extra actions it gives you there are movement unless you're using your ultimate late-battle super move to attack twice, which you can only do once in a combat as is. Otherwise, the superspeed is another flavor of physical enhancement powers that also comes with weird vibration and sound manipulation buffs (you can make hyper-speed Bard) and armor breaks.

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