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Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Alien Rope Burn posted:

It's not a question of fairness to me. It's a question of awareness. I've actually met the guy and had him be amazingly considerate to a young fan. I also had him explode in my face. I've also had him apologize for exploding at me. Does the one time he was lovely to me wipe out all the other times? Well, I don't like painting things with one brush. It doesn't excuse what he did, but understanding what was going on in his life at least goes some way towards explaining it, and I find that a lot more interesting than being purely dismissive.

In any case, if you don't think I'm critical enough after my Way of the Scorpion review, I really don't know what else there might be to say.

I don't think you need to be more critical, I'm just not sure why every time someone brings up the notion that John Wick might be kind of an rear end in a top hat GM you feel the need to rush forward to try and, I don't know, whatever this is that you keep doing. I'm sure that Abby Soto and Phil Brucato are also more than the dumb RPG books that they publish but I still reserve the right to judge the two of them based on things like Straw Feminist Rapemurder Snuff Vore-stravaganza and Dog: the loving. I've also heard people say that Gareth-Michael Skarka in real life is absolutely nothing like how he is on the internet. Is that true? Is he maybe secretly the nicest guy in the world and all his blustery assholishness is just some sort of show for the rubes? I don't really care tbh, I'm comfortable painting him one brush and calling it a day.

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Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Hell, maybe Ryan Dancey donates to charity and takes in rescue animals.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



Our review wasn't really ask that much about Wick the guy anyway, just a few asides.

So one of our listeners(and a lurker here), just sent us a microwave sized box containing the following:

GURPS Discworld
GURPS Hellboy
Blue Planet (with Moderators Guide and Fluid Mechanics)
Feng Shui
Godlike (with Will To Power and some adventures)
Ray Wininnger's Underground
The Whispering Vault
Underworld
Kobolds Ate My Baby
Nexus: The Whispering City
Kult
Witch Hunter: the Invisible World
King Arthur Pendragon

And what I consider to be the Arkenstone of this hoard, Everway.

Amazingly we didn't have a single one of these yet. So good.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

I remember GURPS Hellboy being about as dry as Melba toast, but that looks like a pretty righteous haul you just landed.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





I figure that other than maybe Varg, who I believe is in jail for racism related crimes, every RPG person we call a motherfucker in these contexts has the unspoken caveat of, "In the context of trad games, and possibly also has some lovely opinions."

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

I'm pretty sure Varg Vikernes went to jail for literally killing a dude.

Ratoslov
Feb 15, 2012

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



Invoking Varg is kinda cheating in 'worst RPG person' discussions, because everyone else is just garden-variety amateur jerks and Varg is a genuinely evil person who happens to make RPGs that reflect his interests. Looking solely at his RPG output, he's merely quite lovely, but it's hard to overlook his long and storied career of murder, racism, and arson.

Adnachiel
Oct 21, 2012




Part 1: Building a Better Villain With Lists

(Fun Fact: That might not be Annabelle on the cover. It might be an older version of Monica. It appears to be art left over from another aborted movie project. Or maybe it’s the other way around. Who knows.)

Annabelle Deville posted:

First, lets put it out there shall we? I'm not the villain of the story. No one is. That's how mortals thing, very black and white, very good vs. evil, very childish.

If there is one thing you should take away from reading this, no one outside of a silly cinema character or a two dimensional funny book foil considers themselves the villain.

Now that we have that out of the way, I think its time for an introduction.

My Name is Annabelle Deville, I live in Salem, Massachusetts with my Aunt Helena and my goody-goody cousin Janette. I attend Coventry school for Girls, I'm a second year initiate and my best friend is named Lucinda and just so happens to be the princess of dimension spanning empire.

I'm also ,and I'm not bragging here, quite the accomplished witch, despite my relatively young age.

And if you're reading this like me you suffer from what many call .... A persnickety nature. You don't suffer rules, You're not good at controlling your tamper and you just don't get even, you get ahead.

If you're not a kindred spirit then in about 2.5 seconds the enchantment on this book will activate and you'll turn into toad.

Now either you're reading this or trying to find insects to eat, And if you're reading this then thank you for your patronage,

I'm hoping you'll find the information here informative. And useful in your day to day lives.

One of the complaints I and others have about Witch Girls is that when a witch does something bad to someone, usually a mortal who can’t defend themselves, they are usually not punished for it. And when it happens, it rarely amounts to more than a light slap on the wrist. Many of these characters also just seem to be evil for the sake of being evil and do not have reasons behind the way they are. (Though we all know the real, unspoken answer is “because fetish”.) Presumably, Annabelle Deville’s guide to mystical mayhem Wicked Ways was written in part to fix that. It was released along with Respelled and Coventry. Unlike Coventry, it seems to have incorporated the new rules.

Like the other two, the book starts off with a comic. It’s about Lucinda and Annabelle meeting up at Not!Starbucks after meeting each other on a social networking site for witches. They bond over their mutual interest in turning people into things and possibly destroy an entire city. I’m not going to write a long summary of it because I don’t need to write one. That’s literally all the comic is. Instead, have a series of pictures.



By the way, Monica and Janette were the ones that encouraged the two to sign up for the site. (“Monica said I should make a magic friend account I thought it was another of her silly attempts to "help me out of shell." [sic]) So aside for Helena and Millicent’s lovely parenting, those two are to blame.

Also, aside for one comic that Harris didn’t see the need to publish with full pages (thus making it nearly unreadable), this is the first time Annabelle is seen smoking. It will come as no surprise to anyone that Soto wrote the comic.

Harris is on solo writing duty again, along with editing and, interestingly, the cover art which I don’t believe for a second. If he can draw that well, why does he bother commissioning people who are worse than him? (It would definitely save him money in the long run.) Soto is on graphic design, typesetting, layout (none of the page numbers are in the space where they should be, and I hope you like burnt orange with neon green accents), and proofreading, as well as art duty with four other people. A “Deborah ‘Yankee Diva’ Dodge” is listed as the book’s “Muse”. Dodge is/was Harris’ S.O. and Denora Desade may be her self-insert. (That, or Harris went out of his way to find a girlfriend who looks like her and has the same initials. Also, why was I able to find a wiki page for her?)

According to the table of contents, there should be a foreword from Brooke Horn, the actress who was going to play Annabelle in one of the umpteenth aborted Witch Girls movies, before the rest of the book. There is no foreword. (There is a blank space next to the Table of Contents and disclaimers (“Don’t smoke or drink if you’re underage. Don’t be wicked.”) where it probably should be though.) Unless it’s talking about the quote at the top. That quote is one of many from Annabelle scattered around the book.

The book starts off by trying to emphasize that they’re going for cartoon style villainy, not real world style tragedies.

Wicked Ways posted:

We say wicked and not evil as we're covering more standard story book villainy and not real world style madness and atrocities. This is just a game after all.



It then explains that the main purpose of the book is to help Directors and players build better, more rounded villains and morally dubious characters for their games. (Along with helping directors run “wicked” games.) Which is fine. But unfortunately, it feels like hollow lip service compared to what is actually shown from the NPCs’s actions. Hell, you don’t need to look any further than the opening comic for this very book to find a contradiction. There’s no reason for most of those transformations other than “that sounds like fun”. And while there are updated character sheets for some of the designated villains here and in later books with some token attempts at giving them some motivations behind their shittiness, they don’t really do much and again, feel incredibly hollow. Especially considering that there is nothing indicating that Harris is really trying to distance the game from its older materials and fluff. A new version would have been a great opportunity for him to completely overhaul the fluff. But again, that would require :effort:.

There’s also the fact that designated good characters like to indulge in some of the same actions as the designated villains.

I also don’t think that Annabelle would endorse a book that implies that she’s anything less than a powerful sorceress capable of destroying you with a pointed look with no deep insecurities or issues fueling her actions.

Anyway, this chapter is mostly just lists of ideas for reasons, means, and goals for wicked characters. They’re all valid reasons, but the way nearly all of them are written seem to have at least one thing that seems… off to me in their reasoning. First up is Catalysts: reasons why a character would decide to be wicked. These are:
  • Abuse: A lovely homelife, bullying, getting poo poo on one too many times caused the character to lash out at her abusers as well as bystanders for not helping them during the abuse. They may also think it’s normal after a point and try to prevent it from happening again.

  • Competition: Sometimes, the pressure of trying to beat others can cause a person to go “gently caress it” and cheat and blast their way to the top.

  • Environment: Being born in a place surrounded by war, crime, and/or poverty can cause someone to become “hard” and think that that’s the norm.

  • Fear:

    Wicked Ways posted:

    A little green man once said "Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate and hate leads to suffering", or something like that.

    Being afraid of something can cause a person to lash out at it. This section suggests that witches who treat mundanes badly might secretly be afraid of them.

  • Greed: “gently caress you, want mine. I’m taking your poo poo and turning you into a toad.” Also, you might become a hoarder.

  • Isolation:

    Wicked Ways posted:

    Being alone can have devastating effects on some. A character may start to think they are being singled out and isolated or think they are so special they no one understands them/are worthy of them.

    Of course, with no one to tell them otherwise, an isolated person may assume that all of the horrible poo poo they do is okay.

  • Power: Being able to solve their problems and get rid of people they hate by just pointing a wand/finger and saying some words went to the character’s head. I’m assuming this is Annabelle’s catalyst. (Along with just the general bad influences Coventry probably has thanks to its legacy and prodigy students.) It notes that the fear of the magistrates coming down on them and their moral codes keep most witches from going this route.

  • Privilege: “gently caress you, got mine.” Witches tend to come from wealthy, influential families (both mundane and magical). (Why? Probably because everyone keeps taking the top Wealth option at character creation because there’s little reason not to.) Witches with this catalyst think that makes them better than those without. They also tend to not understand the problems of less privileged individuals and can just come off as an rear end in a top hat in general.

  • Revenge:

    Wicked Ways posted:

    While some say It's a dish best served cold, revenge is a road that leads to dark places quickly.

    The character is out for revengeance and doesn’t give a poo poo who they hurt along their way to getting it. Possibly themselves included.

  • Trauma: An injury, illness, or incident where they were humiliated made the character hard and dead set on not looking weak and avoiding those circumstances, or just hating weakness in others in general.
Annabelle, what are your thoughts?

Annabelle Deville posted:

...my cousin Janette once tried to use silly mortal psychology to figure out "what's wrong me" The only thing she discovered that me imploding her bedroom was a far larger issue than my personal ones.

When I said the comics tend to forget that Annabelle is evil, I mean it. The two get along really well in the comics and rarely raise a spell on each other. She probably got the idea to do that from Lucinda. She does make everyone around her worse.

Next is a list of possible goals that wicked characters might have.
  • Anarchy: The character hates authority, wants to bring down “The Woman” and possibly make chaos reign. Or maybe they’re just pranksters. The section does note that adding magic to a harmless prank can turn it deadly real fast.

  • Corruption: Corrupters want to turn others evil. These “Mistresses of lilies” tend to be people people and more subtle in their machinations.

  • Destruction: The character thinks something needs to go away, preferably in a fiery explosion. These characters aren’t very subtle, but see their acts as an art.

  • Love: These “dark-Venus” will do whatever it takes to get the object of their affection. Alternatively, they see love as a thing that can be used against weaker opponents.

  • Knowledge: This character is in search of some dark knowledge that no one was meant to know. They tend to make minions do all of the dirty work for them.

  • Popularity: Not just for schoolgirls, this character may want to be popular in their workplace or become famous. Being wicked is apparently a very easy way to accomplish this. It’s keeping it that’s the problem.

  • Puppet Mistress: To Puppet Mistresses, people would be a lot better if they were serving them and didn’t have that whole pesky free will thing. They love removing people’s free will with Mentalism spells. Though some prefer just using animals or zombies.

  • Ruler:

    Wicked Ways posted:

    "Every body wants to rule the world" , thankfully the line from that song is wrong.

    Self-explanatory. It could be because they think the current rulers of whatever are poo poo, they have some dark plan in mind, or they just think they deserve it.


  • Seeker: This character lost something really important to them and they want it back. They tend to be more patient and plan in the long term. (Because they understand that “good things come to those who wait”.)

  • Wealth: Most magical people don’t think about wealth. These do. They probably have the Greed catalyst.

Annabelle Deville posted:

... Most people don't understand the burden of being better than everyone else. In fact most people live a life with little r no meaning. Even among my own kind many are just satisfied with being a face in the crowd.

I on the other hand know I'm special, I'm smart, I'm powerful and I'm beautiful and I deserve to be feared and admired. And while you are not as remarkable as I , you to deserve some modicum of esteem.

I find in cases where people don't understand your importance in the grand scheme of things that you should show them why you are better than them.

Exactly how you this is up to you, but personally , personally I think a good toading will suffice.

Next is the methods that wicked characters use to achieve their goals (or, as the book calls them, “methods of the madness”). A lot of these are just the Seven Deadly Sins and some don’t really fit with their category name.
  • Desire: Use their social skills as opposed to physical and magical violence.

  • Envy: Steals ideas from their rivals.

  • Excess: Big and loud. Likes elaborate plans.

  • Greed: Likes to gather spoils from their targets.

  • Pride: Constantly trying to one-up others. Like to monologue and might refer to themselves in the third person.

  • Sloth: Very rare, these villains tend to be lackeys to more powerful and motivated villains. Don’t back up their poo poo talk.

  • Wraith: Gives no shits about the lives of others and just wrecks poo poo nearly indiscriminately.
Next is the types of delusions that a villain might have. Villains don’t usually think they’re evil. So here’s some of the things that they could be thinking instead.
  • Agent of Change: Something sucks and they’re gonna change it for the better, and don’t get why people don’t like them.

  • Better Being: This type of villain truly thinks they’re better than everyone else and gets pissy when “lesser beings” don’t acknowledge them as being such.

  • Hero: They're not the villain, you're the villain.

  • Iconoclast: Knows they’re a weirdo who doesn’t conform to society’s rules and doesn’t give a poo poo who knows it. That’s not what an iconoclast is exactly, but okay.

  • Innovator: Agents of Change but smarter.

  • Monster: Knows what they’re doing is wrong, but refuses to take responsibility for it. Tend to lack empathy.

  • Prankster: Doesn’t understand that some people can’t easily undo their magical pranks and don’t find them funny.

  • Normal: “Yeah, I’m wicked. But you’re wicked too.” Normals think the entire world is full of assholes that are out to get them and that they need to harm them first. Honestly, kind of a valid mindset to have in this setting.

  • Teacher: Teachers use their evil deeds to teach people a lession, whatever that may be.

  • Zealot: This one seems to be mixed up with a description for a removed (?) type called Innocent, who think no one understands them because they’re so perfect and pure, and may be on a moral crusade of some sort. Zealots think that anything that goes against their beliefs are inheritly evil.
The next blurb emphasizes that, while the four qualities the book just went over are helpful in determining a character’s personality, that should not be their entire character. It basically boils down to “don't make a character who is just a villain, treat them as a person first and a villain second”, which is a good piece of writing advice. But the way it’s worded…

Wicked Ways posted:

The key to a good wicked characters are the key to making any kind of character and not falling into the same cliches that are common to villainous persona.

Wicked cat characters that give long winded monologues, reveal there plans and have nothing going on in thee lives other than the wickedness they are doing are less characters and more characters.

Star characters that are constantly doing bad and have no redeeming qualities and who cannot supress their wickedness are easy to play but have no complexity and in some games can be disruptive.

This comes after a bit that talks about villains who might do long winded monologues.

Such characters have a time and a place. And honestly, if you’re going for more cartoon style villainy, this might be the place for them. Also, what do clichés have to do with villains who are villains 24/7?

Up next: :doink: : Witch Edition

Asimo
Sep 23, 2007




Yay, more fetish comics with smoking school children. :geno:

Zereth
Jul 8, 2003




Adnachiel posted:

[*]Normal: “Yeah, I’m wicked. But you’re wicked too.” Normals think the entire world is full of assholes that are out to get them and that they need to harm them first. Honestly, kind of a valid mindset to have in this setting.
"Is it really paranoia if they actually are out to get you?"

AccidentalHipster
Jul 5, 2013

Whadda ya MEAN ya never heard of Dan Brereton?


theironjef posted:

Our review wasn't really ask that much about Wick the guy anyway, just a few asides.

So one of our listeners(and a lurker here), just sent us a microwave sized box containing the following:

GURPS Discworld
GURPS Hellboy
Blue Planet (with Moderators Guide and Fluid Mechanics)
Feng Shui
Godlike (with Will To Power and some adventures)
Ray Wininnger's Underground
The Whispering Vault
Underworld
Kobolds Ate My Baby
Nexus: The Whispering City
Kult
Witch Hunter: the Invisible World
King Arthur Pendragon

And what I consider to be the Arkenstone of this hoard, Everway.

Amazingly we didn't have a single one of these yet. So good.

The Whispering Vault! That game is so beautifully weird and surreal that I've always wanted to play it but I've never been able to properly express how weirdly beautiful it is. Please tell me that that's one of the games that's not too deep in you "to review" backlog.

drrockso20
May 6, 2013

Has Not Actually Done Cocaine


I had almost forgotten how much I loathe Witch Girl Adventures, makes me want to run a game dedicated to murdering that kind of magic user(actually that would make for a good campaign, a group of assorted supernatural beings ganging up to murder these Witches cause they are being too blatant and open with their magic, and it's threatening an already fragile Masquerade/truce with a government monster hunting agency, that will literally burn the city to the ground to contain this if necessary)

Gerund
Sep 12, 2007

He push a man




theironjef posted:

Our review wasn't really ask that much about Wick the guy anyway, just a few asides.

So one of our listeners(and a lurker here), just sent us a microwave sized box containing the following:

GURPS Discworld
GURPS Hellboy
Blue Planet (with Moderators Guide and Fluid Mechanics)
Feng Shui
Godlike (with Will To Power and some adventures)
Ray Wininnger's Underground
The Whispering Vault
Underworld
Kobolds Ate My Baby
Nexus: The Whispering City
Kult
Witch Hunter: the Invisible World
King Arthur Pendragon

And what I consider to be the Arkenstone of this hoard, Everway.

Amazingly we didn't have a single one of these yet. So good.

That sounds like some great material for the next year. Lucky you and shout out to the lurker in question.

Strange Matter
Oct 5, 2009

Ask me about Genocide


theironjef posted:

Our review wasn't really ask that much about Wick the guy anyway, just a few asides.

So one of our listeners(and a lurker here), just sent us a microwave sized box containing the following:

GURPS Discworld
GURPS Hellboy
Blue Planet (with Moderators Guide and Fluid Mechanics)
Feng Shui
Godlike (with Will To Power and some adventures)
Ray Wininnger's Underground
The Whispering Vault
Underworld
Kobolds Ate My Baby
Nexus: The Whispering City
Kult
Witch Hunter: the Invisible World
King Arthur Pendragon

And what I consider to be the Arkenstone of this hoard, Everway.

Amazingly we didn't have a single one of these yet. So good.
Woah, Godlike? I play Wild Talents regularly but I've never actually looked at its predecessor.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



theironjef posted:

Our review wasn't really ask that much about Wick the guy anyway, just a few asides.

So one of our listeners(and a lurker here), just sent us a microwave sized box containing the following:

GURPS Discworld
GURPS Hellboy
Blue Planet (with Moderators Guide and Fluid Mechanics)
Feng Shui
Godlike (with Will To Power and some adventures)
Ray Wininnger's Underground
The Whispering Vault
Underworld
Kobolds Ate My Baby
Nexus: The Whispering City
Kult
Witch Hunter: the Invisible World
King Arthur Pendragon

And what I consider to be the Arkenstone of this hoard, Everway.

Amazingly we didn't have a single one of these yet. So good.
Man, that's a pretty cool haul. Some legit good stuff in there. Which version of Kobolds Ate My Baby is it? The original folded-and-stapled one?

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Feng Shui original or modern spicy? Likewise, which Pendragon edition?

FMguru
Sep 10, 2003

peed on;
sexually

theironjef posted:

Our review wasn't really ask that much about Wick the guy anyway, just a few asides.

So one of our listeners(and a lurker here), just sent us a microwave sized box containing the following:

GURPS Discworld
GURPS Hellboy
Blue Planet (with Moderators Guide and Fluid Mechanics)
Feng Shui
Godlike (with Will To Power and some adventures)
Ray Wininnger's Underground
The Whispering Vault
Underworld
Kobolds Ate My Baby
Nexus: The Whispering City
Kult
Witch Hunter: the Invisible World
King Arthur Pendragon

And what I consider to be the Arkenstone of this hoard, Everway.

Amazingly we didn't have a single one of these yet. So good.
That's quite a haul of Mostly Genuinely Good RPGs you got there

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



That cover art looks like someone stole a Zelda-themed picture from DA.


I picked Rocket Age to do this time because it's the complete opposite of my hate-crush, Unhallowed Metropolis. I always found it incredibly vexing to spend 100 pages on London and then a paragraph or two fr the rest of the world because you weren't supposed to play there unless you eventually might be able to. And as much as I love SLA for being a weird Scottish punk's nightmare, I agree that the metaplot does it no favors. I wasn't so sure on the short timeline of Rocket Age but in retrospect I think they did it in the span of 1931-1938 so nobody could get too complacent exploring the solar system. There's not a lot of over-arching plots and even with the extra books only one of them seems to follow a series of adventures. I do appreciate a good game that's willing to offer a lot but not feel stretched thin.

Quinn2win
Nov 9, 2011

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




Winter: Local Gods
Henge are the bridge between people and nature, but local gods are pure nature. Their existence has nothing to do with humans. Each one has their own territory, outside of which they have no interest in what goes on.

Gods have powers significantly greater than henge, but are nearly powerless outside of their own territory. The larger the territory, the greater the god.

Powers of Local Gods
There are some powers allowed to all local gods, then each type also has special powers of its own. Any god can use these:

Speak to Animals (0)
Regardless of species, gods can communicate with animals that live in their territory. Does not stretch to animals that live elsewhere but just wandered in.

Guardian (0)
Know everything that happens in their territory. If a button falls to the bottom of a lake, the lake's god knows exactly where it is.

Change (?)
Transform, as per henge. Local gods generally have animal forms, but they're things like spiders or frogs instead of rabbits or dogs.

Vanish (3)
Disappear into the god's territory, becoming completely invisible. However, while vanished, the god can't do anything other than subtly communicate.

Carry Out (5)
Take something inside the territory and guide it to the border to leave. Can't be used on an unwilling target.

Pond God
Henge 4 / Animal 2 / Adult 3 / Child 1
Animals: Turtle, Fish, Snake, Shellfish, Frog
Ponds are quiet, stable places supported by calm, relaxed gods. They might get angry if you do too much fishing or pollute the pond, but they are seldom scary.

Power: Water-Strider (5)
Make anything float in water, no matter how dense. Can let humans or animals walk on water.

Story Fragments
Someone needs the god's help retrieving something that fell into the pond. Someone falls into the pond and calls for help. A god might ask a fox to make it rain.

River God
Henge 6 / Animal 3 / Adult 1 / Child 3
Animals: Fish, Snake, Centipede, Otter
Rivers are ever-flowing, and their gods are whimsical. Sometimes they'll suddenly decide that something must be done, and become selfish and self-centered. River gods aren't fond of humans, and might cause a flood if angered.

Power: Soak (8)
Make a bucketfull of water fall down wherever you want. To avoid getting soaked requires an Animal check above the god's Henge check. Inflicts a Surprise check of Henge+3.

Story Fragments
The god mistakes something that fell mistakenly into the river for trash and gets angry. A god is troubled when she uses her Soak power on a child and the child catches cold. A moody river god falls in love with a human.

Forest God
Henge 5 / Animal 1 / Adult 1 / Child 4
Animals: Fox, Deer, Bird, Raccoon Dog, Giant Spider, Tree
A single large forest could have several gods. Forest gods tend to be very old, and enjoy life at a leisurely pace. They're very lonely, and might not want to let new friends leave.

Power: Lost in the Woods (6)
Make people become lost on changing forest paths. Can affect multiple people, but the cost must be paid for each one. Lasts until scene end.

Power: Darkness (12)
It becomes dark as night, transformation costs changing accordingly. All humans in this darkness with a Child of 3 or higher have all their other attributes reduced to 0.

Story Fragments
Children come to play in the forest, but the god won't let them leave. Local animals leave the forest, and the god becomes worried and wants to find them. A forest god asks the henge to bring someone to her, but they take the god into town instead.

Mountain God
Henge 4 / Animal 7 / Adult 3 / Child 3
Animals: Bear, Boar, Snake, Fox, Spider, Centipede
One mountain, one god. Ruling a mountain is a lot of work, so mountain gods tend to be very responsible, creating rules and requiring the residents to abide by them, other gods included. Mountain gods are extremely old, conveying profound emotion merely by their existence.

Power: In the Mist (16)
Mist too thick to see through engulfs the mountain. Humans can't freely move through it, and the god can lead those trapped in it wherever she wishes. Lasts until scene end.

Power: Rain Shower (20)
Sudden torrential downpour. Makes you cold and wet, but has no other special powers. Set one foot off the mountain, and it stops immediately.

Story Fragments
A mountain god doesn't want to let any humans come to the mountain. A child gets lost on the mountain and falls asleep, and the god asks the henge to come get them back home.

Field God
Henge 2 / Animal 2 / Adult 0 / Child 6
Animals: Bird, Fox, Rabbit, Deer, Snake
There are smaller fields close to town, and bigger ones far from town. Their gods tend to be kind, curious and naive. They're more likely than other gods to leave their territory, becoming quite vulnerable when they do. They're quick to befriend children who pass into their territory.

Power: Sunny Day (16)
Push away all weather to create a pleasing, warm sunny sky. Gives 4 points of Dreams to everyone in the field other than the god. Lasts until scene end.

Story Fragments
The henge accompany a field god into town to make sure she doesn't get lost. A field god gets attached to children or henge and doesn't want to let them go home. A field god who's left the field might not know the way back. A field god starts crying because of something someone did.

Ocean God
Henge 6 / Animal 4 / Adult 0 / Child 2
Animals: Fish, Turtle, Snake, Octopus, Crab
Actual ocean gods are too distant to ever meet in this game - these are more of shore gods. They have a low opinion of humans, like river gods, for similar reasons. They know nothing of the world beyond their shorelines aside from what the occasional bird or bird henge tells them.

Power: Sea God (8)
Calm or rouse the waves crashing down on the beach. Make floating things wash up on the beach, or wash things from the beach out to sea. Can't be used on something that's too heavy.

Story Fragments
Something is lost in the sea, and someone must ask a local ocean god to get it back. Something strange washes up on shore, and the god needs help deciding what to do with it. People litter in the sea, and the god gets mad and sends waves at them.

Local Gods in Stories
The gods are more powerful than henge in their territory, but outside of their territory they're far weaker than henge. They aren't enemies to fight, nor are they allies who will always help. They might give advice, and might ask favors of henge when necesasary. Local gods look over their land and its inhabitants.

Players cannot participate as local gods. The range of things they can do is too broad and too vague, and they're impervious to the limitations of common sense. Narrator only.



Next: Hitotsuna Town.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


theironjef posted:

Our review wasn't really ask that much about Wick the guy anyway, just a few asides.

So one of our listeners(and a lurker here), just sent us a microwave sized box containing the following:

GURPS Discworld
GURPS Hellboy
Blue Planet (with Moderators Guide and Fluid Mechanics)
Feng Shui
Godlike (with Will To Power and some adventures)
Ray Wininnger's Underground
The Whispering Vault
Underworld
Kobolds Ate My Baby
Nexus: The Whispering City
Kult
Witch Hunter: the Invisible World
King Arthur Pendragon

And what I consider to be the Arkenstone of this hoard, Everway.

Amazingly we didn't have a single one of these yet. So good.

Kobolds Ate My Baby was one of the first RPGs I ever played a one-shot in. It's pretty simplistic, but also a great example of adversarial roleplaying done for laughs rather than as a creepy power trip.

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.

You should definitely do Nexus: the Infinite City back to back with Feng Shui, since the latter is a weirdly specialized evolution of the former.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



Today is April 15, 2016.

Three years ago today, I started the first iteration of the Torg read-through.

It's three years later, I've restarted once, and I'm still only like halfway through the stuff I want to get through.

Three years of writing about Torg.

What the hell am I doing with my life?

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



Evil Mastermind posted:

Today is April 15, 2016.

Three years ago today, I started the first iteration of the Torg read-through.

It's three years later, I've restarted once, and I'm still only like halfway through the stuff I want to get through.

Three years of writing about Torg.

What the hell am I doing with my life?

Well I guess it is in Australia.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



Perhaps writing about Torg is your very own Darkness Device and soon you'll become a conquerer.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




Hey if this is a contest to see who's the most insane, I put myself on the hook to write about not one, but two editions of Immortal.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



theironjef posted:

Well I guess it is in Australia.
...Wow, I am so messed up I didn't even get today's date right.

The hell is wrong with me today?

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



On this note, expect the next In Nomine update by Sunday.

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

theironjef posted:

Our review wasn't really ask that much about Wick the guy anyway, just a few asides.

So one of our listeners(and a lurker here), just sent us a microwave sized box containing the following:

GURPS Discworld
GURPS Hellboy
Blue Planet (with Moderators Guide and Fluid Mechanics)
Feng Shui
Godlike (with Will To Power and some adventures)
Ray Wininnger's Underground
The Whispering Vault
Underworld
Kobolds Ate My Baby
Nexus: The Whispering City
Kult
Witch Hunter: the Invisible World
King Arthur Pendragon

And what I consider to be the Arkenstone of this hoard, Everway.

Amazingly we didn't have a single one of these yet. So good.

I have every one of those except Discworld.

Do Underworld next.

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

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


Nessus posted:

I figure that other than maybe Varg, who I believe is in jail for racism related crimes, every RPG person we call a motherfucker in these contexts has the unspoken caveat of, "In the context of trad games, and possibly also has some lovely opinions."

I know that I make a big deal out of going FIIIIIIEEEEELDS in every single one of my reviews of his games, but I get the impression that he genuinely enjoys games and wants them to be fun. Even if his idea of fun is deviant from ours and even if he's not very good at making games. Never actually seemed like a bad person, just maybe a slightly crazy one.

Also, not sure if people were aware, but there was a Kickstarter for a Kult revival a while back, which seems to have succeeded. Apparently the only thing that's really missing from the English version is the translation, so I'm looking forward to reviewing Kult a second time!

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

PurpleXVI posted:

I know that I make a big deal out of going FIIIIIIEEEEELDS in every single one of my reviews of his games, but I get the impression that he genuinely enjoys games and wants them to be fun. Even if his idea of fun is deviant from ours and even if he's not very good at making games. Never actually seemed like a bad person, just maybe a slightly crazy one.

Also, not sure if people were aware, but there was a Kickstarter for a Kult revival a while back, which seems to have succeeded. Apparently the only thing that's really missing from the English version is the translation, so I'm looking forward to reviewing Kult a second time!

After penning a game literally called Tournament of Rapists my opinion of Chris Fields has shifted to "guy deliberately playing the edgelord card for free publicity," even if that particular debacle was also a result of DTRPG loving up.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Ratoslov posted:

Invoking Varg is kinda cheating in 'worst RPG person' discussions, because everyone else is just garden-variety amateur jerks and Varg is a genuinely evil person who happens to make RPGs that reflect his interests. Looking solely at his RPG output, he's merely quite lovely, but it's hard to overlook his long and storied career of murder, racism, and arson.

Yeah, I'm not sure how you'd equate anything I'm saying with defending a seeming pedophile or a legit racist killer, but somebody did, and I have to express bewilderment.

Evil Mastermind posted:

Three years of writing about Torg.

What the hell am I doing with my life?

Well, at least you have a conceivable end point.

I don't know that I can ever actually finish Rifts, given the rate new books continue to come out, and there's a legit question of how far to take it.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



...RIFTS books are still coming out?

Who is buying them?

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



Alien Rope Burn posted:

Well, at least you have a conceivable end point.
it.
I have five more realm books after Orrorsh (Aysle, Living Land, then the three post-core realms), then I'm planning on doing the batshit stupidity that was War's End.

Mors Rattus posted:

...RIFTS books are still coming out?

Who is buying them?
The kickstarter for the Savage Worlds version is coming up soon! :v:

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Calde posted:

Then we're back to discussing Beast and it's examples of play, I suppose.

Beast: You deserve what happens to you.

drrockso20 posted:

I'll keep that in mind, Kamen Rider Amazons is definitely making me want to do something with this idea(cause it has quite a bit of a WoD vibe to it)

Kuuga should also be worth looking into with the semi-deconstruction going on and antagonists who justify the "monster of the week" format in a very effed up way (I've probably mentioned it somewhere in the last thread, but they're basically serial killers competing for a high body count - with our without self-imposed restrictions - for promotions. One of them chopped people's head off while walking past them in such a way that they still had time to turn around. Another one killed people by injecting spines into their brains and playing a J-Horror game of "You'll die in 3 days" with them, which drove several victims to commit suicide. Oh, and their leader is Tokusatsu Caine).

Asimo posted:

Yay, more fetish comics with smoking school children. :geno:

I wonder what kind of lung cancer you can get from smoking people. Does your lung slowly turn into Belial from Basket Case?

Doresh fucked around with this message at 18:41 on Apr 14, 2016

Adnachiel
Oct 21, 2012


Doresh posted:

I wonder what kind of lung cancer you can get from smoking people. Does your lung slowly turn into Belial from Basket Case?

Witch Girls witches are immune to all mundane diseases and aren't affected by (I assume only the bad effects) of tobacco and alcohol. So all the little witch kids can smoke 10 packs a day of people cigarettes and drink nothing but 40s and never have any health problems.

I assume it's specifically there to take out the "smoking is bad for you" reason when someone objects to Lucinda smoking.

Adnachiel fucked around with this message at 19:40 on Apr 14, 2016

Quinn2win
Nov 9, 2011

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




Winter: Hitotsuna Town
The six sample henge from the book have a home, and that home is a place called Hitotsuna Town. The Towa River separates the north and south sides of the town, and there's only one bridge across it. With the addition of the train station, the north side has become the center of town.

A good chunk of the town is taken up by fields and rice paddies. There are no buildings over three stories tall - the only ones even that high are the school and the hospital. Cell phones only get reception at the train station and parts of town hall. Every house has running water, but that was a more recent development than you might expect.

Hitotsuna Station
The train tracks follow the path of the Towa River. There's only one attendant, and the local line is only open in the mornings and evenings. No express trains come at all, and at rush hour there's two trains per hour. Landslides or fallen tress can sometimes interrupt train service through the mountains.

There are shops around the station - a general store, vegetables, meat, pharmacy, liquor, et cetera. The bank and post office are along this part of town. Many of these shops double as homes - this is the heart of Hitotsuna Town during the day.

Town Hall
A two-story building that's stood since the 1920s. There's a small library attached, mostly from what townspeople have donated personally, giving it kind of a used book store feel. The community hall is used to prepare for festivals, and sometimes for movie showings or local performances.

Hitotsuna School
A combination elementary school and middle school, still only gathering about a hundred students. Each class is about twenty students split between two grades. Older students often help younger students, and it's generally a lively, noisy place.

Shrines and Temples
There's two main Shinto shrines in Hitotsuna Town. On the north side of the river is Misuzu Hachiman Shrine, home to a fox henge named Suzune. On the south side is Hitotsuna-Nushi Shrine, dedicated to the local river god. There's also a Buddhist temple, a small building with sizable grounds used for festivals and the like.

Haunted House
A Western-style house on the outskirts of town. Local gods or foxes will tell you it's from the Meiji era, and there are rumors of ghosts. Details of what's going on there are left up to the Narrator.



Bodies of Water
The main one is Towa River, running through the town from east to west. During long rains, it can overflow. People often fish or walk dogs along the riverbank. Children swim there in the summer. Towa is too long and wide for a single river god to watch over the whole thing, so it has several. In the middle of it is a sand bank called Hebiko Island. It's accessible by one unreliable bridge, and is home to Towa Gozen, a snake god overseeing this part of the river.

There's also the Suzunari River, gushing down from the mountains and joining Towa River. There's Miko River, flowing from the hills that are home to a farm and shrine. There's Gokou River, coming down from Mt. Kaminaga and overseen by the centipede goddes Gokou-hime. Beyond all that, there are various reservoir poinds around town, dotted with lotus flowers or used for fishing. Each have their own gods.

Mountains
Mt. Misuzu is on the north side of town, and is a habitate for foxes and raccoon dogs. There are tiered fruit fields on the mountainside, so farmers from town often go here. The name means 'deep bells', a reference to olden times when people going up the mountain would be led astray by bells rung by the foxes.

Mr. Kaminaga is on the south side of town, and is less hospitable - the only paths there are the ones made by animals. The mountain is governed by a spider goddess named Kaminaga-hime. When humans come to her mountain she drives them off with mist and rain, but she is kind to animals and henge.



Creating your own Town
Making a town for Golden Sky Stories is a bit different from other RPGs. Things like shops, banks, and hospitals are important for humans, but not necessarily important for henge at all. Decide what kinds of places you need for your stories, then make those first, and let the rest flow from there.

For an easier kind of customization, use Hitotsuna Town as a base, but add or change things as you see fit.



Riko's Big Mistake, Part 4

quote:

They couldn’t stop the move, but...

Kuromu: So in the end, Kikuna had to move.
Riko: Yeah...
Kuromu: You seem pretty happy though. Why’s that?

We parted ways, but we didn’t!

Riko: I asked Kikuna why she didn’t want to move, you know? It turned out she didn’t want to be away from Hiroko, her doubles tennis partner.
Kuromu: Huh. Then what?
Riko: Then the morning of the move Hiroko came to Kikuna’s house. And she said, rather than teammates, they’d have to become rivals!
Kuromu: Hmm...
Riko: So they promised to do their best so they could meet again at the national tournament. So they became even better friends than before, you know? Weird, huh?
Kuromu: I see. (avoiding her gaze)

True Friendship

Riko: Oh, by the way, I’m pretty sure I saw Hiroko-chan waving to you, so, like, are you guys friends?
Kuromu: Not really. It’s nothing.
Riko: It seemed like she was saying thank you or something, you know?
Kuromu: Huh. I don’t know anything about that. Are you sure you’re not imagining things? (still avoiding Riko’s eyes)

And on to the next story...

Suzune: Well, well. Just when I was starting to worry about them, it seems they seem to have found their way again.
Koro: Woof! Riko and Kuromu did their best for their friends! They’re great! They deserve so many treats!
Sarah: Someone said, no matter how far apart you are, there are still threads that connect you. I forgot, but it’s important.
Amami: It’s good to have friends. I wanted to be friends with them too...
Suzune: In that case, you should take part in the next story, Amami. Every time we tell stories, we accrue more threads.
Koro: Woof! I’ll do that too!
Amami: Anyway, everyone remember to take good care of me, okay?
Sarah: Huh? What was I talking about...? I forgot. But I think it was a warm story. Let’s create a town together.
Suzune: Hm. The more stories we tell, the more threads will form between people, and we’ll create more priceless stories that belong to us.
Koro: And then we can learn more and more about our town! My master takes me for walks, so I know!
Suzune: This is our own irreplaceable town. And for that, the narrator must be prepared...
Sarah: The narrator makes information about the town. But, everyone in the story helps it come to life.
Suzune: Yes. Now, it’s getting dark. I must return to my shrine.

All of this is so you can tell your very own stories. May the light of the setting sun always wrap your henge in its warmth.



And that marks the end of this Golden Sky Stories writeup. I hope you get a chance to play it some day, and I hope the experience adds flowers to the story of your life.

Next week, back to talking about Dracula.

oriongates
Mar 14, 2013

Validate Me!






Psionic Artifacts of Athas part 3:
A Brief Interlude


So, I mentioned at the start of the review that Psionic Artifacts of Athas is basically a setting specific version of the more general Book of Artifacts, just a bit more schizophrenic and with a lot of lamer, mostly destroyed artifacts. So in the interest of sharing some actually good artifacts of Athas, I figured I'd go ahead and include the artifacts from the Book of Artifacts that come from the Dark Sun setting.



The Obsidian Man Of Urik

The Obsidian Man is a statue of pure obsidian in the shape of a man dressed like a nobleman. The statue is 12 feet tall and perfectly shaped and proportioned with no signs of chisel-marks or tools...the surface is perfectly smooth.

The statue was discovered in an obsidian mine in the Smoking Crown mountains when miners came upon the figure buried in a seam of black glass. They chipped away until they managed to completely unearth the statue, under orders from the templar in charge of the mine, and loaded it up to transport to Urik and present it to king Hamanu. However, the journey would last several days and the first night they stopped and in the morning they found 13 people gruesomely crushed to death during the night. The templars were too eager to deliver the statue to the king so they decided to push on. Every night more men were murdered. Naturally the templars suspected the statue, especially since its guards were among the ones killed, but each morning it was back in its place, unmoving. Dozens of people died during the journey.

Finally the Obsidian Man was brought to Hamanu who examined the figure for several hours...ultimately unable to discover anything he retired for the night in frustration, leaving 20 half giants to guard the statue and went to his library to research the matter. However, in the middle of the night he was disturbed by the sound of battle. He rushed out just in time to see the entire guard defeated and the gates of his palace smashed open. He followed the trail of the Obsidian Man, encountering it in the middle of the city where the two did battle. Eventually, badly wounded, the sorcerer-king finally defeated the Obsidian Man and created a golden circlet to bind it to his will.

With experimentation Hamanu discovered the Obsidian Man had several unusual powers but he never could find any clue to its origin or nature. He also learned that daylight rendered the Man immobile and powerless.

Seven years ago a young templar (for reasons unknown) removed the circlet from the Obsidian Man's brow and was immediately killed. The statue escaped the city, walking out into the desert and disappearing. Two years ago the golden circlet itself was stolen from king Hamanu's palace. The thief was never caught and no sign of the circlet has been seen since.

You see, that's a good artifact background, mysterious, intriguing and not just another "Rajaat or a Sorcerer-King made this". Something even one of the sorcerer-kings finds mysterious and dangerous is a good sign as well.

The Obsidian Man is mainly a kind of super-golem. It has 150 hp, AC -5, gets two attacks per round (THACO 5) and inflicts 5d12 damage per hit. It's movement rate is 15 and it has a strength of 25. It can only be harmed by metal weapons of +3 or greater enchantment. It is immune to all psionics except psychokinetics, and all magic except for cone of cold, Stone Shape(which does 1hp of damage per level), and Stone To Flesh (which sets the Man's AC to 10 for one round only). All of its saves are as a 20th level fighter. Reducing its hp to zero does not destroy it, merely making it inert until the next night at which point it reanimates with full hp.

In addition it can Fly on command for one hour per day. It can also create a wall of fire once per day that lasts an hour. It can stone shape by touch and cast passwall at will. It also has a ranged attack, a beam of black fire that inflicts a flat 25 points of damage (save for half) and a 60 yard range. Finally, it can cast finger of death once per week.

The curse of the obsidian man is that its a mindless killing machine who obeys no orders. The golden circlet can control it, but even with that it must be allowed to kill a sentient being every night or it will turn on its controller. It also drains the life of the user if commanded to use an invoked power, permanently draining 1 hp.

suggested means of destruction are exposure to 24 hours of continuous sunlight or cutting out its heart with a +5 weapon and throwing it into the lava of the smoking crown mountains.




The Psychometron of Nerad

The Psychometron is a small clear gem about an inch in diameter, mounted in a headband of gold and leather.

The creator of the Psychometron is Nerad the Wise, the first preserver to attempt an Avangion transformation. Unfortunately he was not as secretive as he should have been and the Dragon hunted him down. Anticipating his defeat Nerad gave his most valuable possession, the Psychometron, to one of his retainers and instructed her to flee with it. The woman took the circlet to a community of Villichi in the Tablelands in order to seek aid and shelter. Since then the Villichi have used it to defend themselves in times of need (if you aren't familiar, the Villichi are a society of albino psychic amazons).

The Psychometron grants a +2 to saves and all power scores for telepathy and metapsionics. It also contains 150 PSPs (which regenerate at 25 per hour), It also radiates nondetection and blocks all attempts to scry or locate the owner psionically or magically.

If the Psychometron is within the radius of a defiling effect it sacrifices 1 PSP per yard to keep the defiler magic from destroying the area. This doesn't stop the spell, just the defiling side effect. It also includes the following psionic abilities which can be fueled by its own PSPs or the PSPs of the wearer: aura sight, aversion, awe, complete healing, contact, displacement, energy containment, mind bar, mind link, radial navigation and teleport.

The curse of the Psychometron is fairly mild, it is imbued with Nerad's personality and drives, leading to artifact possession. Victims become driven to end slavery and oppression, the rule of the sorcerer-kings in particular.

Suggested means of destruction are feeding it to an Earth Drake or keeping light from touching it for 99 years.



The Rod of Teeth

This is a bone club studded with human teeth and covered in strange runes and symbols. It is a relatively minor, but interesting, artifact.

The Rod was carved by a defiler named Atlak-Ta, the fetish keeper of Lalai-Puy, sorcerer-queen of Gulg over 600 years ago. It was passed on to his apprentice and since then has moved through the hands of several powerful defilers over the years.

The rod is treated as a Rod of Absorption, able to store one spell-level per tooth in the rod (currently 33). However, whenever a charge is used there is a 10% chance a tooth falls out. It also functions as a +2 weapon (inflicting 1d8+2 damage) and grants its bearer a +2 to saves against necromancy.

In addition, a wizard struck by the rod must save Vs spells or lose 1d6 spells (highest first) which are transferred to the wielder who can cast them as though they were a wizard (or if they are a wizard, they're added to their currently memorized spells).

The curse of the rod is that anyone using it has their alignment eventually shifted to chaotic evil. Every time it is used there is a 5% chance that the rod actually steals the entire mind of the wizard, not just their spells. The struck wizard's mind replaces the rod-wielders and killing the original body. The new entity has the physical stats of the rod wielder and the mental traits and class abilities of the victim.

leads to an interesting possibility of an evil wizard or psionicist intentionally allowing a powerful minion (like a half giant) to beat them with the rod until they mind swap.

The rod becomes powerless once it loses all of its teeth or returning all the teeth to their original bodies.



The Silencer Of Bodach

My personal favorite artifact, even if it is a "Rajaat made this" artifact. Also, let me say the really nice, clean black and white art of the book of artifacts really puts the wobbly, cartoony work in the Psionic Artifacts of Athas book to shame.

The Silencer is a 7 foot long, 7 inch wide sword made from the same red metal as the Scorcher. During the cleansing wars the silencer was crafted for Irikos, the "left hand of Rajaat" and got it's name from the city of Bodach. Bodach was an extremely powerful "neutral city" during the Cleansing Wars. Using the sword, Irikos slew the armies of Bodach and sacked the city...however the wizards of Bodach worked together to cast a powerful spell, killing both themselves and Irikos. Only the silencer itself survived.

The weapon was found in the ruins of bodach by an adventurer who used it to gather an army of raiders and bandits. However, she overstepped herself and engaged in a full-on assault of the city of Balic. The sorcerer king and his armies slaughtered the desert savages. The sword was carried away into the desert by one of her lieutenants.

The Silencer is a +5 Two Handed Sword which can be used one-handed like a longsword. It also cuts through any non-metal substance without resistance, ignoring non-metal armor and even carving through solid stone at 10 feet per round. It also grants its owner a +2 AC bonus.

It can be swung in huge arcs to magically attack everyone (-4 penalty) within a 10 foot radius. three times per day it can project a bolt of force which, if it strikes the ground or a building, acts as the earthquake spell. if it strikes a creature it inflicts 5d10 damage. And 3 times per day it can protect its owner with a Tower of Iron Will. Plus 3 random abilities from enchantment, and one from protection.

The curse is bloodlust, every day the weilder must make a save or lose a point of wisdom. and it inflicts artifact possession, driving the wielder to acts of violence and conquest...plus a fanatical loyalty to Rajaat.


That's it for this interlude, back to the main book with the next post.

oriongates fucked around with this message at 20:02 on Apr 14, 2016

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Mors Rattus posted:

...RIFTS books are still coming out?

Who is buying them?

Yeah, who would play broken games that are decades old in this hobby?

It's ridiculous to even think of.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




oriongates posted:

For those who don't know, back in 2e there was a product called the Book of Artifacts, basically a big collection of the most high-powered magic items around, the kind you build campaigns around. The Book of Artifacts was, from what I recall, not too bad other than a tendency to copy-paste artifacts directly from existing campaign settings with absolutely no explanation or preparation, such as a cutlass from Spelljammer or the psychometrion, an item from Dark Sun, and an odd decision that pretty much every Artifact should have some powers that are rolled randomly. Because what's a TSR era book without some random tables?

It also had a cover featuring an excellent example of the very fine line between "awe" and "duuuurr"


Quite foolishly, 10-year-old me bought the Book of Artifacts off the Waldenbooks shelf thinking it would be useful in puzzling out the SSI AD&D games I was playing at the time. As I recall, the book devotes an impressive amount of time detailing how artifacts are not simply powerful magic items, and responds to common complaints about how artifacts wreck a campaign with advice on how to use them well. It did contain artifacts from all the campaign settings ranging from Al-Qadim to Dark Sun to Ravenloft to Spelljammer and back again, but each artifact gets a neat background story.

At the time, it was a complete waste of a 10-year-old's limited funds, but in hindsight, it was a vitally important purchase. All of the charts, references to other charts, and references to stats like Bend Bars/Lift Gates warned me away from playing a game as awful as Advanced Dungeons & Dragons.

All 4 of those artifacts made it in exactly as you've posted them, IIRC. I seem to recall InQuest magazine in the 90s consistently criticizing TSR for consistently publishing sourcebooks that were collections of material copypasted from earlier books.

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Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





Mors Rattus posted:

...RIFTS books are still coming out?

Who is buying them?
I'm actually super stoked for Savage Worlds RIFTS, I know people who want to do a play podcast or whatever for it. (Do we have a thread for that stuff?) Anyway, if it lets you mine all that goddamn Palladium insanity into a system that isn't ball-twistingly painful to wrangle, it would be a beautiful thing.

I should either finish Nightbane or abandon it and start in with System Shock one of these days.

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