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

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


Traveller posted:

I'm not gonna front, I'd play this. :allears: Pulp horror supers against Nazis!

So dark and edgy that Batman: Brave & the Bold did a Creature Commandos episode. I'd play it too.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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



Thank you. So far the most ludicrous thing I've stumbled upon in this game with werewolf soldiers is that a machine gunner in the british army would be able to perfectly describe nuclear fission without prompting.

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


Is there a Hellboy RPG? If not, why not?

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Kurieg posted:

Thank you. So far the most ludicrous thing I've stumbled upon in this game with werewolf soldiers is that a machine gunner in the british army would be able to perfectly describe nuclear fission without prompting.

Believe it or not, that eventually makes perfect sense and is actually a surprisingly subtle bit of good foreshadowing about him.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



Count Chocula posted:

Is there a Hellboy RPG? If not, why not?
You could probably easily adapt the Atomic Robo RPG for Fate to do it. Or, well, just FATE, period.

FMguru
Sep 10, 2003

peed on;
sexually

Count Chocula posted:

Is there a Hellboy RPG? If not, why not?
There is! It's by SJ Games and runs on the GURPS system, but is a standalone RPG (being GURPS compatible means you can throw stuff from all the other GURPS supplements into your Hellboy game to taste).

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Count Chocula posted:

Is there a Hellboy RPG? If not, why not?

Yes!



But...



... yeah.

Selachian
Oct 9, 2012



Evil Mastermind posted:


The Rijato Armored Warrior is the guy who developed and stole that power armor we read about back in the Equipment chapter. His tag skill is science.

So, all it takes is one bad disconnection roll and this guy's insanely expensive, almost irreplaceable suit of power armor breaks, right?

How about Aysle next? I have ... fond memories of the horror that is the Torg magic system.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Evil Mastermind posted:

Anyway, we get the usual list o' weapons here. The normal firearms don't have too much that's really worth talking about because it's all "modern guns, just a point or two better" stuff, although it's interesting to note that a bunch of guns publicly sold by the Kanawa Corporation's subsidiaries are made from plastics, which means they don't set off metal detectors. I'm sure that isn't causing worldwide problems.

No mention of the Impala Chaingun? Man-portable gatling gun being used in Yakuza wars sounds like it's pretty important. But, you're right, there only really difference with Nippon Tech weapons is that they're chambered for higher calibers like the 13mm Chunyokai (being the Desert Eagle point-five-oh before Magnum Research even created the caliber) or having huge magazine capacities like the SC Kyogo T11 assault rifle, with "four times the ammo per clip as the AK-47 or the M-16".

Then the better guns like the Hachiman "Big Thunder" pistol and the Militech A-35 rifle ended up in the Kanawa Personal Weapons book, taking the whole shine off those guns.

Evil Mastermind posted:

I feel like Nippon Tech is right up there with the Living Land in terms of being a really interesting setting idea that falls flat due to bad presentation and lack of thought about what you'd do there. I realize that the 90's were a ways before we as a hobby started asking things like "so what do we actually do with this?". But even so, there doesn't seem to be any effort put into things apart from there being martial arts and megacorps.

I said this before, but Nippon Tech should be "Robocop and Judge Dredd by way of John Woo". All the elements are there: the out-of-control corporate culture, the huge gap between the haves and have-nots, the inbuilt crime drama and revenge story motifs.

But none of it hangs together. Each concept lives in near total isolation from the others, leaving everything feeling disjointed.

I remember someone saying that in the original Feng Shui that the Buro was included so that people had a place to get high-tech guns from, but the developers didn't expect that people would want to go to that juncture and hang out.

I get the impression that Nippon Tech suffered from the same problem. They needed a place for PCs to get weapons and high-tech gear, so they created this realm. But oddly, they didn't realize that if you make a region in your setting and earmark it as being important, then people are going to want to go there and learn more about it.

I always figured that Nippon Tech was really more the place for James Bond-style gadget-based superspy espionage adventures. 3327 himself looks like he's a Bond villain and the higher-tech meant you could have explosive pens and fight guys with prosthetic claw hands and metal teeth. Or stuff out of Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD: a Helicarrier and rocket bikes wouldn't be out of place in Nippon Tech. I don't think NT was meant to be a catalog for "high-tech guns", because you have if you wanted straight-up high-tech gear and guns, you had cosms like the Cyberpapacy and later Tharkold that produced gear that would blow away anything produced by Kanawa. Even the one-off prototype Rijato Battlesuit pales in comparison to the Chod power armors from Tharkold or the GWI Devastator, which are mass-produced power armors. I really think they wanted Nippon Tech to be the "Ninjas and Superspies" realm, just like Nile Empire is the "Pulp Adventure" realm, Asyle being "High Fantasy" realm, Orrosh the "Horror" realm, Living Land being the "Edgar Rice Burroughs' Lost World" simulator, and Cyberpapacy as the "Cyberpunk" realm.

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

There's only one thing in the mountains that leaves a track like this. The creature of legend that roams the Timberline. My people named him Sasquatch. You call him... Bigfoot.

Doresh posted:



(Wait... oh crap, that isn't actually Caudwell on the cover. That's Kyoji "Diablos" Kasuga, whose bio paints him as a recurring boss character / eternal loser. Very strange to put him at center stage, which is probably why I got them confused in my first post <_<)



I think his 'multiple loser' reputation comes from being the first False Hearts NPC most characters fight if you run the corebook scenario. On the other hand, this makes him like the 'signature' FH guy, and he keeps avoiding being told "You have failed me for the last time" somehow.

occamsnailfile
Nov 4, 2007



zamtrios so lonely

Grimey Drawer

Fossilized Rappy posted:

Let's talk a bit about Southern Gothic, shall we?


Hoodoo Blues is a roleplaying game created by Vajra Enterprises, a company whose other settings include such light fare as Tibet during the Chinese occupation of the 1950s, Manhattan in a cyberpunk future where the poor have to go to drastic measures just to survive while the rich grow fat and decadent in virtual reality-addicted gated communities, and an urban fantasy Los Angeles where you more or less play as Cthulhu mythos cultists. Like other roleplaying games from the company, it uses the Organic Rule Components (ORC) system, an in-house d20-based system.


This actually sounds like a fun read, and some of their other games sound interesting too--of course, I've never heard of any of them so I lose hipster cred and also wonder if they have systemic issues in addition to being kind of niche themes.

And of course, the ladies of the Toast are already sipping those mint juleps.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


unseenlibrarian posted:

I think his 'multiple loser' reputation comes from being the first False Hearts NPC most characters fight if you run the corebook scenario. On the other hand, this makes him like the 'signature' FH guy, and he keeps avoiding being told "You have failed me for the last time" somehow.

He's also the guy that picks a fight with the "god" t-lois in the Advanced Rulebook, presumably to his detriment.

Traveller
Jan 6, 2012

WHIM AND FOPPERY



Fossilized Rappy posted:



Hoodoo Blues is a roleplaying game created by Vajra Enterprises, a company whose other settings include such light fare as Tibet during the Chinese occupation of the 1950s, Manhattan in a cyberpunk future where the poor have to go to drastic measures just to survive while the rich grow fat and decadent in virtual reality-addicted gated communities, and an urban fantasy Los Angeles where you more or less play as Cthulhu mythos cultists. Like other roleplaying games from the company, it uses the Organic Rule Components (ORC) system, an in-house d20-based system.


On one hand, this could be interesting and fun. On the other hand, there's already a Vajra game in the archive.

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




Traveller posted:

On one hand, this could be interesting and fun. On the other hand, there's already a Vajra game in the archive.

Oh man, it's those guys again? This is going to be great :newlol:

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



The magic insanity of In Dark Alleys and its discussion has lead to my favorite sentence ever written in all of these threads.

Test Pattern posted:

"I'm a hideously scarred ex-con with no brain. This is my son, Barrack Obama. Please let us into the missile silo."

TombsGrave
Feb 15, 2008



Alien Rope Burn posted:

Yes!



But...



... yeah.

I own this game! Probably the most notable thing about it is that it introduces two new example characters--a generic normal-guy super-agent and conjoined-twin mad scientists--whom you can tell are new because their character descriptions are about three times as long as the canon characters, and their adventures likewise not feeling at all like Hellboy.

There's a Hellboy short story and a Mignola-penned Hellboy comic in it, at least. The new guy shows up in the comic solely to get his butt handed to him while Hellboy watches.

grassy gnoll
Aug 27, 2006

The pawsting business is tough work.

Seriously though, someone run a Weird WWII game.

Thesaurasaurus
Feb 15, 2010

"Send in Boxbot!"



grassy gnoll posted:

Seriously though, someone run a Weird WWII game.

Be the change you want to see in the world.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



Selachian posted:

So, all it takes is one bad disconnection roll and this guy's insanely expensive, almost irreplaceable suit of power armor breaks, right?
Right. Just like pretty much everyone else because at some point you're going to go somewhere your gimmicks don't work.

quote:

How about Aysle next? I have ... fond memories of the horror that is the Torg magic system.
See below, but yes. I will be attempting to make a spell.

Young Freud posted:

No mention of the Impala Chaingun? Man-portable gatling gun being used in Yakuza wars sounds like it's pretty important. But, you're right, there only really difference with Nippon Tech weapons is that they're chambered for higher calibers like the 13mm Chunyokai (being the Desert Eagle point-five-oh before Magnum Research even created the caliber) or having huge magazine capacities like the SC Kyogo T11 assault rifle, with "four times the ammo per clip as the AK-47 or the M-16".

Then the better guns like the Hachiman "Big Thunder" pistol and the Militech A-35 rifle ended up in the Kanawa Personal Weapons book, taking the whole shine off those guns.
Well, they kind of shot themselves in the foot with the fact that Marketplace technology is barely above that of Core Earth (the Tech axiom is Nippon Tech is only one point higher). When you get right down to it, there's not a lot that really differentiates it from Core Earth apart from the martial arts stuff.

quote:

I always figured that Nippon Tech was really more the place for James Bond-style gadget-based superspy espionage adventures. 3327 himself looks like he's a Bond villain and the higher-tech meant you could have explosive pens and fight guys with prosthetic claw hands and metal teeth. Or stuff out of Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD: a Helicarrier and rocket bikes wouldn't be out of place in Nippon Tech. I don't think NT was meant to be a catalog for "high-tech guns", because you have if you wanted straight-up high-tech gear and guns, you had cosms like the Cyberpapacy and later Tharkold that produced gear that would blow away anything produced by Kanawa. Even the one-off prototype Rijato Battlesuit pales in comparison to the Chod power armors from Tharkold or the GWI Devastator, which are mass-produced power armors. I really think they wanted Nippon Tech to be the "Ninjas and Superspies" realm, just like Nile Empire is the "Pulp Adventure" realm, Asyle being "High Fantasy" realm, Orrosh the "Horror" realm, Living Land being the "Edgar Rice Burroughs' Lost World" simulator, and Cyberpapacy as the "Cyberpunk" realm.
But again (and I know you'll agree with me), there's a huge gap between what they seemed to want and what they actually put out. There was little to no thought put into reinforcing the themes of most of the realms outside the world laws. Instead it's new mechanical subsystems and long boring lists of every minor location. Orrorsh and the Nile Empire got off okay, but the rest...well...

It's why I'm trying to be really really hopeful about the new Torg stuff. I want Torg designed and presented with a modern "focused design" mindset.

THAT BEING SAID, my next Torg chunk will probably be a repeat of the Nile Empire, taking my old posts and fixing all the problems I see in them now so they can get archived by inklespleen.

After that, I'm either going to do Orrorsh or Aysle (for which I will still attempt to create a spell). After those will be the Living Land and Core Earth, and then the realms that dropped in later.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



e: Stupid post getting lost then reappearing while I retyped it... :argh:

Serf
May 5, 2011




I know it's been a while since my last post, but here goes:

Adventure! Part Three: First Days of the Aeon Society and pseudoscience!

The next couple of pages of the book cover the remainder of 1923, vaguely recounting the adventures of the Aeon Society from the perspective of Whitley Styles, using his journal to do so. The Society faces off with sexism in the ranks as Annabelle Newfield stands up to Danger Ace and Jack Tallon. Max and intrepid journalist Sarah Gettel come back from battling zombies in Haiti and Max sets up a new office for the Society in London.

Max Mercer seems to always be one step ahead of everyone else and knows exactly what to do, which Whitley is always eating up. It’s not exactly clear if the writers are in love with Max or if Whitley is, but we’re clearly supposed to be very impressed by the character.


Were newspapers back then in the habit of printing nicknames?

We then get a few hints at allies and adversaries. Danger Ace brings someone called “the Furry Man” back after crashing in the Yukon. Jack Tallon escapes an expedition-gone-wrong in the Congo by “intimidating the locals” and Whitley barely gets away from the Ubiquitous Dragon and his Dragon’s Coil Tong (ugh). Mercer reminds the crew that “we’re not pursuing personal vendettas or out to force people to change. After all, the Aeon Society is not a secret government and has no intention of becoming one. We fight against secrets.” I think the writers were going for irony here, since if you’ve read Aberrant and Trinity you know that the Aeon Society does go on to become a shadow government, controlling the world from behind the scenes. They’re also collecting files on people with weird powers and secret organizations from across the world. The Society isn’t keeping this information secret, but aside from Sarah Gettel, no journalists seem to be interested. More significantly, Max comes up with the idea of building a prison for the exceptional people they encounter, to keep them from endangering the public. The Society decides to build a “psychiatric facility” somewhere in Africa to house these people. That closes out the last of 1923 for the Society.

The next section covers “telluric energy” which is basically the juice that gives our pulp heroes their power. This is written from the perspective of Doctor Primoris, who is much more clinical than Whitley. He starts off describing masked heroes, which are… a thing, I guess? It doesn’t really come up as much as it probably should.


Sure, whatever you say.

If you’re familiar with the World of Darkness line and White Wolf products in general, you’ll know that most of their game lines split PC options up into distinct groups. Adventure! is no different, and Primoris introduces us to the three options players have.

First up are the Daredevils. These folks don’t have any real superheroic powers to speak of, but they do have a combination of incredible personal skill and uncanny luck. These are your Indiana Jones and Batman type characters. Since this is the fluff section, their powers aren’t gone into, but it is also noted that they have the ability to use “pseudoaetheric devices” which we’ll get into later.

Next we have the Mesmerists. Contrary to their name, they’re not just mind-readers, they also have the ability to affect the world with their minds. Telekinesis, psychometry, but also telepathy and mind control are all among their powers. Think of guys like the Shadow. Primoris notes that Harry Houdini ran afoul of a couple Mesmerists while he was exposing frauds among the spiritual community, but apparently decided to… not say anything and go looking for a person who could speak to the dead.

(One issue I have with Adventure! is that it doesn’t do much in the way of attempting to make its alt-history matter. Chronologically the next game in the line is Aberrant, which took place in the then-future of 2008, and until that game’s inciting event, apparently not much differs from regular Earth. Which seems like kind of a waste, given that Adventure! includes a great many characters who should be changing the world.)

Lastly there are the Stalwarts. They have a wide range of physical abilities, such as super-strength, enhanced healing, incredible durability, and even the ability to hurl lightning. Primoris seems most impressed with the Stalwarts, as their abilities are, to him, the ones that most seem to defy science. Stalwarts are mostly inspired by Doc Savage and comic book superheroes.

If you know about the Aeon Trinity line, you know that Mesmerists are the Psions that feature in the sci-fi game Trinity and the Stalwarts become the Novas of Aberrant. One of the appealing things about Adventure! is that it ties together the origins of two distinct genre archetypes: the transhumanist sci-fi psychics and the Dark Age superhero comics of the 90s and early 00s. The Daredevils are a left out in the cold, forced to share their book (this one) with scaled-back versions of the other two. This was a bad move, in my opinion, as Daredevils are the most interesting character type.

Primoris has his own categorization method for these new, weird kinds of people. He thinks of the Daredevils as the heroes of ancient myth, the Mesmerists as sorcerers and soothsayers, and the Stalwarts as the gods of legend and the future of humanity (quick, guess which one Primoris is).


Okay, I actually like this. It reads like it could've come out of a newspaper at the time

Most of the rest of this section is Primoris coming up with various terms to describe the method by which the, as Mercer calls them, “Inspired” derive their power. He settles on “telluric energy” though the book uses this interchangeably with “pseudeoaetheric waves.” In July of 1924 an “Inspired madman” attempts to blow up New York with psychic lightning, but the Aeon Society manages to turn it back and blow him up. Primoris notes that the Inspired are rare, and they all seem to step from people getting exposed to this telluric energy.

Primoris notes that these powers don’t seem to have existed before 1922, and that the telluric rays of Hammersmith’s machine may have irradiated people across the globe. He examines his own cells under a microscope and notes that his mitochondria are far more active than a normal human’s. He wonders how much of him is still human, or if he is human at all anymore. He goes on to question the theory of evolution and laments that he cannot obtain samples of the other Society members’ tissue without arousing suspicion.


What does the picture have to do with the news story??

He’s keeping a lot of this information to himself. Well, that’ll probably never come up!

In his final entry, Primoris speculates that the so-called “super-science” employed by other members of the Society and their enemies is not what it seems. He believes that inventors are building machines that only work because of the user’s connection to telluric energy, and will not function in the hands of a non-Inspired (conveniently explaining away why no one invents supertech and gets rich). He reflects on Marie Curie’s experiments with radioactivity and wonders if her work could be combined with his research into telluric energy.

Finally he discusses one last category of devices, which are capable of converting electricity into telluric energy or vice versa, produce strange and incomprehensible effects, and can be used by anyone regardless of whether they are Inspired or not. These devices appear to always be one-offs and cannot be mass-produced, but are dangerous regardless of who has them (in the rules section these are devices created and used primarily by science-minded Daredevils).

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

There's only one thing in the mountains that leaves a track like this. The creature of legend that roams the Timberline. My people named him Sasquatch. You call him... Bigfoot.

Serf posted:




Okay, I actually like this. It reads like it could've come out of a newspaper at the time


...The funny part is that's actually based on a series of Usenet posts from the nineties by a dude named Robert E. McElwaine. The random capitals, conspiracy theorizing, and the signature line are right out of his usual rants.

Count Chocula
Dec 25, 2011

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


quote:

In his final entry, Primoris speculates that the so-called “super-science” employed by other members of the Society and their enemies is not what it seems. He believes that inventors are building machines that only work because of the user’s connection to telluric energy, and will not function in the hands of a non-Inspired (conveniently explaining away why no one invents supertech and gets rich). He reflects on Marie Curie’s experiments with radioactivity and wonders if her work could be combined with his research into telluric energy.

So it runs on Mage/Genius rules?

chiasaur11
Oct 22, 2012





Evil Mastermind posted:


The Rijato Armored Warrior is the guy who developed and stole that power armor we read about back in the Equipment chapter. His tag skill is science.

Yes, he didn't want his suit of power armor with the wrist mounted blasters used as "a weapon of destruction". Because it'd have so many domestic uses I guess.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CISRRn3wolk


I kind of assume he was this guy

LornMarkus
Nov 8, 2011




Wait, hold the loving phone, those were the guys that did Rondo of Swords too? loving hell, they are just the kings of tactical games with killer premises that are ruined by awful mechanical execution.

Quinn2win
Nov 9, 2011

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




RULES, PART 2

COMBAT



So, a lot of this will look familiar if you've played a couple different systmes before. Combat rolls are made with the abilities Hand-to-hand, Weapons, and Shooting - whoever has the highest skill rating gains the initiative. The agents can try to get the jump on the enemy (usually Difficulty 4) - Surprised characters go to the end of the initiative, and have +2 to Difficulty on all rolls they make that round.

Attack rolls are made by rolling combat abilities against a character's Hit Threshold - 3 by default, or 4 if their Athletics rating is 8 or higher. Enemies may have Hit Thresholds that are as low as 2 (for huge creatures or hapless civilians) or as high as 5 and beyond (for deadly supernatural threats). If you match or beat their Hit Threshold with a combat skill, you roll a die and do that much damage. The damage gets a modifier based on your weapons, ranging from -2 (fists) to +2 (assault rifle). Guns do extra damage at point blank range, especially shotguns. Armor can reduce damage from attacks.

If you take damage, you lose that many points from your Health pool. If the pool empties, that means you drop from exhaustion or blood loss... usually. Health is an ability, and this is when it's used. When you drop to 0 or less Health, make a Consciousness Roll - if the result beats the absolute value of your negative Health, you remain conscious, and can still act. This is an ability roll, so you can spend Health to increase your chances of passing the roll - even if it would push you into the negatives (the difficulty is based on your health before spending any on this roll).

Book example:

quote:

Ghouls are chasing you through a burned-out church in Norway, after a surveillance attempt that did not go your way. They hit you with a harpoon, dropping your Health pool to –3. You would really rather not gather first-hand intel on ghoul feeding habits, so you must remain conscious. The absolute value of –3 is 3, so this is the Difficulty of your Consciousness roll. You spend another 2 Health points you don’t have, pushing yourself on toward the sunlight outside where you left the car.

That spend gives you a bonus of 2 to your roll. You roll a 4, for a final result of 6. You remain conscious and get away, but now your Health pool is down to –5.



Whenever your Health pool is between 0 and -5, you are Hurt. All rolls you make have a Difficulty that's 1 higher. A Consciousness Roll is required to use any investigative abilities. From -6 to -11, you're Seriously Wounded. You can't fight, and lose an additional point of Health every half hour unless stabilized by a character with the medic ability (Difficulty 3). A serious injury can only be fully restored by spending days equal to your negative health hospitalized and inactive. On the day of discharge, your Health pool refreshes to half its rating. The next day, it refreshes to full.

-12 or below, and you're dead. Roll up a new character.

There's a lot of things that can affect combat to make things even more complicated, of course:
  • Armor reduces the damage you take from attacks, potentially down to 0. For example, light tactical body armor reduces damage from bullets by 2 points and from stabbing or cutting weapons by 1 point.
  • Cover is an assumption in gunfights. If you're fully exposed, your Hit Threshold is 1 lower against firearms; Full Cover increases it by 1 instead.
  • Range: Range goes by categories - Point Blank (hand-to-hand fighting range, guns do extra damage), Close (same room, shotguns do extra damage), Near (across the street, outer range of thrown weapons), Long (100 meters, only rifles are effective).
  • Explosions: An explosion has three ranges - damage range (you take a lot of damage), debris range (Athletics check to not take extra damage), annihilation range (send in a Cleaner to get your DNA off of the walls, better luck next time). Don't be at ground zero when a rocket hits.



The book goes on to give a nice list of generic enemy statblocks. A sidebar earlier mentions that any of these can be adjusted to be a generic mook by dropping the Health to about 2, and their Hit Threshold to 3. Mooks always drop at Health 0, and are encouraged to be placed where they can be shot off of balconies or taken out from behind with a karate chop. In Dust games, there are no mooks, only real threats.

So far, this has all been fairly standard GUMSHOE combat. However, NBA offers a whole second layer to its combat system, called Thriller Combat.



Thriller Combat is a collection of special combat mechanics that make things more exciting and fast-paced. The Director is encouraged to pick and choose which ones they want or don't want the party to have access to, based on the kind of game they're after. If they want some special abilities to be more common, they can even reduce the requirements for them.

Most Thriller Combat options are not available in Dust games.

Autofire
Machine guns in action movies are way less dangerous than in reality - Autofire rules make them much more dangerous. If you score a hit with an automatic weapon, you can spend 3 Shooting points to do your damage twice, or 6 points to do it three times, et cetera. So, if I hit an enemy with a machine gun, I could do 1d6 damage, or I could spend 9 Shooting to bump it up to 4d6 damage. If multiple unimportant enemies are clustered, each die of damage can be applied to a different target.

Called Shots
For when hitting the center of mass just isn't enough. You name a specific part of the enemy target, the Director raises the Hit Threshold for the attack by 1 (Large carried object) to 4 (Eye). If you hit, you can damage a held object, knock a weapon out of someone's hand, or do +2 to +3 damage for hitting vital areas. This is allowed in Dust, but only for certain targets - you can't shoot a gun out of someone's hand without hurting him.

Disarm
Speaking of which, Disarm is a special kind of Called Shot made against an enemy's weapon. If you make the hit with Shooting, you knock the weapon out of their hand and probably damage it. If you make it with Weapons, you disarm the enemy, but only if your weapon is heavier or you rolled an unmodified 6. If you make it with Hand-to-Hand, then you're struggling over grip of the weapon with the other guy until next turn - and you can spend 3 Weapons or Filch to steal their weapon for yourself, if it's light enough.

Critical Hits
When you roll an unmodified 6, and beat the enemy Hit Threshold by 5 or more, you crit, rolling damage twice and adding the results together.

Evasive Maneuvers
Available in Dust games. At the beginning of a round, you can Go Evasive, spending up to six Athletics points - for each 2 points you spend, your Hit Threshold is 1 higher that round.

Extra Attacks
If you have 8+ rating in the combat skill you're using, and have a lighter weapom, you can push yourself to go for extra attacks. If you hit with a melee attack, you can spend 3 Hand-to-hand/Weapons and 2 Health to immediately make a second attack. You can do the same thing with a gun attack, but the cost is 4 Shooting and 1 Stability. The cost for a third attack is doubled, and a fourth attack is tripled. If your second attack is against a different target, their Hit Threshold is 2 higher.

Two-Fisted Firearms
If you have a pistol in each hand, you can spend 3 Shooting and 2 Athletics to fire both. If the shots are at different targets, the second one's Hit Threshold is 2 higher. If you want to combine this with Extra Attacks, the second attack also uses both guns, but costs 9 Shooting and 6 Athletics.

Feints
When using Hand-to-Hand or Weapons, you can forego your attack on a turn and spend up to 3 points from the relevant skill to do a feint attack. Doing so lowers their Hit Threshold by 1 per point spent until the end of your next round. Multiple Feints can't stack.

Jumping In
Called out in the book as one of the most important reasons to invest in a lot of Athletics. As long as you haven't acted yet during the current round, you can spend 4 Athletics or 3 Shooting/Weapons/Hand-to-Hand to Jump In - you take your next action immediately, instead of whenever your turn was going to be. If multiple characters tr to Jump In at the same time, PCs get priority over NPCs. At the end of a round, you can Jump In to go first in the following round.

Martial Arts
Like the previously-mentioned Parkour skill - once per fight, embellish an attack with a lavish martial arts description ("With a flowing Kata Gurama, I try to sweep him up onto my shoulder and down to the pavement") for a free Refresh of 3 points for Weapons or Hand-to-hand.

Mook Shield
If you have 8+ points in Hand-to-Hand, you can spend 3 points of it to make an attack against an enemy mook. On a success, you pull them into a hold that uses them as a human shield. You get full cover, and any attacks that miss you hit the mook instead. Furthermore, the mook provides 4 Armor against incoming bullets, losing 4 Health for each bullet they obligingly absorb for you. Firing a weapon requires you to either drop the mook or spend 3 Shooting points.

Reckless Attacks
By spending 1 Athletics, you can abandon all defense to go all out, lowering your enemy's Hit Threshold by up to 3 against attacks from you. However, your own Hit Threshold drops by the same amount - and does so against all attacks.

Smashes and Throws
Available in Dust games. You can spend 2 Hand-to-Hand points to do a special attack against a nearby enemy. You can Smash them into something hard and painful, increasing the -2 damage of an unarmed attack to -1 or +0, or you can Throw them, launching them to Close range and to the end of the turn order. If you throw someone at a window, the Hit Threshold is 2 higher, and if the window isn't broken they'll only go through on an unmodified 6. Agents and named NPCs can roll Athletics (Difficulty 5) to grab the frame and not fall to their doom.

Special Weapons Training
If you have 8+ in Shooting or Weapons, you can spend build 6 points to grant yourself Special Weapons Training in one specific weapon: A Walther PPK, a DV-2 Spetsnaz combat knife, et cetera. In your hands, this weapon does 1 extra damage on every hit.

Support Moves
If you have 8+ in Athletics, you can use your action on a turn to do an acrobatic stunt of some sort to aid an ally. The Difficulty on the roll is usually 4; on a success, you add your success margin to a Shooting, Weapons, or Hand-to-Hand roll made by an ally against the designated target.

Suppressive Fire
Available in Dust games. If you have 8+ in Shooting and an automatic weapon, you can lay down suppressive fire, drawing a metaphorical line in the sand that your enemies can't cross. Roll Shooting based on the area being covered, Difficulty 3 (doorway) to 6 (3-lane road). Once you've established the line, you can maintain it for up to 2 rounds with a pistol, or 5 rounds with an assault rifle or submachine gun. If an enemy tries to cross the line, they must make an Athletics check with difficulty equal to what you rolled while laying down the line, or take damage and be forced back. If they succeed by 0-4 points, they take damage and cross the line. If they succeed by more, they get past safely.

NEXT: More things that can kill you.

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010



Lipstick Apathy

Traveller, Book 1 - Characters and Combat

I'd like to begin this part with A Note on Gender and Race

page 25 posted:

Nowhere in these rules is a specific requirement established that any character (player or non-player) be of a specific gender or race. Any character is potentially of any race and of either sex.

which is surprisingly respectful for a game written in 1977.

Combat Step 1: Surprise

Each side rolls 1d6. If one side rolls three higher than the other, the high-roller has achieved surprise. This 1d6 roll can be modified by things like having the Leadership skill, or having the Tactics skill, or having military training as bonuses, or being in a vehicle or being in a large party as penalties.

Surprise means the surprising party can decide to try and avoid combat altogether, or it can mean giving them free attacks. What's interesting here is that the game does not assume that surprise is lost after a single "surprise round", but rather that surprise is only lost if the surprising party makes lots of noise, like say an unsilenced gunshot, or if the surprised party manages to "raise the alarm" for whatever appropriate context.

Combat Step 2: Determine initial range

Combat is done at either Close, Short, Medium, Long or Very Long range. Close is within arm's reach, Short is between 1 to 5 meters, Medium is between 6 to 50 meters, Long is at 51 to 250 meters, and Very Long is as far out as 500 meters.

It's also refreshing to play a game where the measurements are in metric.

As the combat begins, the GM rolls 2d6, applies a terrain modifier and looks up a chart to see at what range the combat begins at. Since long ranges are at the high end of 2d6 and short ranges at the low, being in open terrain applies a +3 modifier to the roll, and being inside a building applies a -5 modifier.

Combat Step 3: Escape and avoidance

If a party has surprise, they can just escape by saying so. The referee has a guideline by which NPC parties that have surprise and are outnumbered will avoid contact on a roll of 7+ on 2d6.

If there's no surprise at play, then escape can be had at this stage on a roll of 9+ on 2d6, modified by being at longer ranges. After this step, the only way to escape is through movement.

Combat Step 4: Starting distance

The game suggests drawing up a foosball field, divided into horizontal "range bands", and using those to judge the relative distances of characters. A single band should represent 25 meters, so two characters with 1 to 2 bands between them would be at Close range to each other, while characters with 3 to 10 bands between them would be at Long range to each other.

Combat Step 5: Declaration of movement

Each character declares what they want to do for this round with regards to movement, which breaks down into the following actions:

Evade - no attack, no movement and no parrying/blocking with weapons, but any attacks made against this character take a penalty
Close Range - move one range band closer to a target, or run to close two range bands closer at the cost of some Endurance Points, which I've not yet discussed.
Open Range - move one range band farther from a target, or also run.
Stand - no movement at all


All movement is performed simultaneously, and a party/character needs to put more than 20 range bands of distance between their enemies to escape.

Combat Step 6: Combat Rounds

A combat round is the execution of movement, followed by an attack, then cycling again until one side has died, routed or surrendered. Each round lasts 15 seconds.

Basic Attack Roll

Roll 2d6, add modifiers, and get an 8+ to land a hit.

There are a lot of modifiers, though:

Melee attacks like swords take a penalty if your STR isn't above a certain level, but then gain a bonus if it's above a certain level

Ranged attacks like guns take a penalty if your DEX isn't above a certain level, but then gain a bonus if it's above a certain level

Endurance is another factor that I'll talk about separately below

Having a weapon skill counts as a bonus for every level, so our sample character would have a +1 to Rifles

If the enemy is engaged with a character in melee combat, and the defender has weapon skill, they can apply the weapon skill as a penalty to the attacker, to represent parrying. The game even mentions that you can do this with guns.

A holstered weapon takes a penalty when it's shot on the same round it's drawn, unless the player stated that the gun was already drawn prior to combat

Going full-auto on a gun lets you roll twice to attack, gives a higher attack bonus for high DEX characters, and lets you shoot at up to two other targets with a penalty

A shotgun lets you hit three targets at a time "provided they are in a group (herd, pack, band, etc) and are each human-sized or smaller.", and it even has a bonus to shooting flying creatures.

Finally, there's a matrix of different modifiers of weapon-versus-armor, and a matrix of different modifiers of weapon-versus-range-band. Combat armor is super-expensive at Cr 20 000, but it provides an attack roll penalty of at least -5, and even -7 to pistols

Damage, "Hit Points", Wounding and Death

For damage, each weapon has a stated number of dice rolled when it scores a hit. A punch rolls 1d6, a pistol rolls 3d6, all the way up to a laser rifle with 5d6. The result is totaled and called Wound Points, and they're applied to either Strength, Dexterity or Endurance. The game says that the characteristic to receive the first wound is determined randomly, but I don't know if that means any subsequent wounds are applied to characteristics by choice, and who makes that choice.

If one characteristic has been reduced to zero, the character is knocked unconscious.
If two characteristics have been reduced to zero, the character is seriously wounded.
If three characteristics have been reduced to zero, the character is dead.

An unconscious character regains consciousness after 10 minutes and suffers a penalty to their characteristics until they receive medical attention or take 3 days of rest.

A seriously wounded character regains consciousness after three hours and needs medical attention (such as a Medical-3) skill to get their characteristics above a 1.

This would seem to make combat an incredibly deadly affair! Getting hit by a broadsword for 4d6 when any of your three characteristics only rolls at 2d6 is going to reduce you to zero 93.92% of the time!

Endurance

A character using melee weapons can only make as many attacks as their Endurance characteristic before they start taking heavy penalties. That broadsword's attack roll is going to take a -4 to the 2d6 attack roll after you swing it one too many times. And then running during movement also counts consuming one of your Endurance points, which you regain after 30 minutes of rest.

This is yet another advantage going to guns, since guns don't cost Endurance.

Morale Rules

When 20% or more of a party is unconscious or dead, they need to start making morale rolls. Roll a 7+ on 2d6 to not rout. Military training and the tactics and leadership skills can act as bonuses, but the death of the party's leader and casualties in excess of 50% are penalties.

Weight Rules

A character can carry a number of kilos equal to their Strength. This is considered a Normal Load.
A character that carries more than a Normal Load, but up to twice their Strength in kilos is under a Double Load and suffers a -1 penalty to their Strength, Dexterity and Endurance characteristics
A character that carries more than a Double Load, but up to thrice their Strength in kilos is under a Triple Load and suffers a -2 penalty to those characteristics. The game also specifically mentions that only characters with military training can do triple loads.

quote:

Load is calculated by totalling the weight of all relevant items. Clothing, personal armor, and minor items such as holsters, scabbards, and belts are not counted

This is super-sensible and I love it. Also, more metric system!

Equipment

The weapon selection is a little eclectic. They have a selection of very standard fantasy melee weapons: daggers, blades, foils, cutlasses, swords, broadswords, and even three different polearms.

The guns though are mercifully simple: a body pistol, an automatic pistol, a revolver, a carbine, a rifle, a second set of stats for rifles under automatic fire, a shotgun, an SMG, a laser rifle, and a laser carbine.

There are telescopic sights to give rifles additional attack roll bonuses at long ranges, silencers to let you squeeze out more surprise rounds since your shots will be muffled, holsters so that guns don't count towards the weight load

The game tracks ammo weight, rounds-per-clip and the price of ammo for guns.





And that brings us to the end of Book 1. This part of the book was a bit more disorganized as far as the plain rules go, but the last 4 pages made up for it by summarizing all the tables and little modifiers.

While the modifier matrices feel like it'd be a bear to peruse in the middle of a combat until you got used to it, I can't help but like the system. The target number is constant, the "range band football field" system is a clever way to abstract combat without making it completely free-form, and barring the lack of terrestrial ranged weapons like bows, there's even a universalist feel to it, like you could run a whole gamut of combat scenarios outside of far-future sci-fi.

If I had to level one criticism against it, it'd be that I feel like armor could have been used to mitigate against the wound/damage rolls instead of acting as penalties on the attack roll. Combat armor is going make you really hard to hit, but you're still going to get knocked out when that one shot gets through. It's just the simulationist in me talking though, and the lethality of the combat isn't necessarily a knock against it.

I find the system fascinating, and I haven't even dug into the space rules yet!

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

There's only one thing in the mountains that leaves a track like this. The creature of legend that roams the Timberline. My people named him Sasquatch. You call him... Bigfoot.

While part of the reason for all the melee weapons in Traveller is just "All the other games have them", for some reason it was a -thing- in sixties and seventies sci-fi that everyone would be fighting with swords in space because "Let's puncture space-suits with rapiers and not shoot holes in the ship walls" was a thing that came up in more than one book back then.

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010



Lipstick Apathy


What I really like about the GUMSHOE system in general is how everything is decided by single d6 rolls, and the difficulty is also standardized around 4.

What I like about Night's Black Agents specifically is the depth they managed to give the combat rules, such that playing it and playing Trail of Cthulhu can feel very different ... and then there are even more optional rules to turn NBA's combat even more "Hollywood action"-ish than it already is.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



Afterthought 23 - Randomized is live and ready to roll. We discuss random elements in games and then dive into the standard litany of weird questions and letters.

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010



Lipstick Apathy

theironjef posted:

Afterthought 23 - Randomized is live and ready to roll. We discuss random elements in games and then dive into the standard litany of weird questions and letters.

Do those d100 things in your preview picture even work? Aren't those just balls?

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


gradenko_2000 posted:

Do those d100 things in your preview picture even work? Aren't those just balls?

They do work, but yes, they're kind of like golf balls and do have a tendency to roll. They're named Zocchihedrons after Lou Zocchi, their inventor and founder of Gamescience.

Serf
May 5, 2011




Count Chocula posted:

So it runs on Mage/Genius rules?

From my vague recollection of the Genius F&F, I think so. I don't know enough about Mage to say one way or the other there. The book really flip-flops on what can and cannot be used by non-Inspired, and clear definitions really don't come until the mechanics section. Even then it is fuzzy.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Alien Rope Burn posted:

He's also the guy that picks a fight with the "god" t-lois in the Advanced Rulebook, presumably to his detriment.

And the one who gets pwned in the introduction prose of the "Irregular Strain" T-Lois.

No. 3 Irregular Strain posted:

Before you stands Kyoji “Diablos”
Kasuga, an infamous False Hearts
agent known for his battle prowess
and unfathomable survivability. With
a voice that rings with the certainty of
victory, the man who claims the devil’s
name continues to speak.

“You underestimate our information
network. Your Syndromes have been
analyzed and our Neumann agents
calculate your odds of winning at
zero!” Diablos aims his arm at your
heart, ready to pierce through it with
his beastly strength.

“Die!” Kyoji charges at you. However,
the confident tone in his voice is im-
mediately replaced with surprise.
“W-where did those powers come
from!? Uwaaaah!!”
Classic Diablos move.

He's also one of those Tri-Breeds who used to be a Crossbreed, giving him new delusions of grandeur, along the lines of "With these new powers, I will finally get my revenge on those meddling kids!"

It's not really an Agent I take very seriously, but he probably works great in campaigns that aren't particularly serious themselves.

unseenlibrarian posted:

While part of the reason for all the melee weapons in Traveller is just "All the other games have them", for some reason it was a -thing- in sixties and seventies sci-fi that everyone would be fighting with swords in space because "Let's puncture space-suits with rapiers and not shoot holes in the ship walls" was a thing that came up in more than one book back then.

Don't forget the knockback you might get from projectile weapons. Though I bet it was very tempting for the attacker (who by virtue of being the attacker likely all carry spacesuits with magnetized boots and everything) to just shoot the walls and wait for the defenders who managed to put on their suits in time. They can still seal the breached sections after taking over the place.

Doresh fucked around with this message at 17:13 on Jan 12, 2016

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



unseenlibrarian posted:

While part of the reason for all the melee weapons in Traveller is just "All the other games have them", for some reason it was a -thing- in sixties and seventies sci-fi that everyone would be fighting with swords in space because "Let's puncture space-suits with rapiers and not shoot holes in the ship walls" was a thing that came up in more than one book back then.

Also, they're not so clumsy or random as a blaster.

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

There's only one thing in the mountains that leaves a track like this. The creature of legend that roams the Timberline. My people named him Sasquatch. You call him... Bigfoot.

Evil Mastermind posted:

Also, they're not so clumsy or random as a blaster.

Traveller doesn't get lightsabers! Or blasters, actually. All their energy weapons are big bulky backpack fed things.

...Space Opera from FGU on the other hand, goes all in, and you can have a lightsaber while running around in Starship troopers powered armor.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Doresh posted:

And the one who gets pwned in the introduction prose of the "Irregular Strain" T-Lois.

Classic Diablos move.

He's also one of those Tri-Breeds who used to be a Crossbreed, giving him new delusions of grandeur, along the lines of "With these new powers, I will finally get my revenge on those meddling kids!"

It's not really an Agent I take very seriously, but he probably works great in campaigns that aren't particularly serious themselves.

It's hard to tell sometimes because the translation is dry and the world is a bit dire, but DX is full of in-jokes and self-awareness.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Alien Rope Burn posted:

It's hard to tell sometimes because the translation is dry and the world is a bit dire, but DX is full of in-jokes and self-awareness.

Though I feel the writing has become a bit more "moist" in the supplement. Even if I'm imagining things, Caudwell's backstory can still be summarized as "Like Neo, expect he ran into a Looney Toons trap and decided to create the X-Men"

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Ugh, two of my players who don't like anime vetoed Double Cross for our next game. Instead they get 1708 Russia Darkest Dungeon in a ruined estate and hamlet out on the Oblast, which will still be good.

Sucks, though, I was looking forward to running Parasite Eve: The RPG.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



Hey inklesspen, did you see my response to your thing at the end of the last thread about my reviews?

1) The Apocalypse World and Misspent Youth reviews were completed.
2) I would like the old Torg review replaced in the archive with the "rebooted" one.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5