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Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Generally speaking, Pandorans go dormant a lot. There's not a ton of Prometheans out there. But the dumb ones can pretend to be an inanimate object for decades, and the smart ones are usually good at tracking their food sources;' both types can sense when a Promethean comes within like 50 miles of them.

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ChaseSP
Mar 25, 2013




Probably isn't that hard to track down a Promethean also, unless they outright never stop moving ever, given you know the signs of their influence on an area.

Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

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



Mors Rattus posted:

Generally speaking, Pandorans go dormant a lot. There's not a ton of Prometheans out there. But the dumb ones can pretend to be an inanimate object for decades, and the smart ones are usually good at tracking their food sources;' both types can sense when a Promethean comes within like 50 miles of them.
Also, can't Sublimati (who are just Smart Pandorans basically) also eat people for a tiiiiny bit of Pyros, as a trade-off for being semi-sentient?

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





PurpleXVI posted:

Jason Vorhees bursts through the floor of the UN general assembly, pulls himself up as diplomats scream and cramble to get out of the way, then just stands in front of the doors, menacingly, until everyone agrees that world peace would be a good idea. Every time a general or dictator starts pondering a territorial grab or border violation he hears a faint "ch ch ch ch, ha ha ha ha" in the background and decides that he doesn't want more land quite that badly.
"A minister once chose to abandon the dispute resolution process, with all its flaws and delays, in favor of a military solution... cutting the Gordian knot. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a big Amarone."

Jerik
Jun 24, 2019

I don't know what to write here.

I'm kind of reluctant to admit this, but there is actually exactly one thing I like about Beast. Lairs. I like the idea of Lairs, and how they fit together, and how they can be customized and how they can be temporarily overlaid on the real world. I wish Lairs had been in a better game. It's a pity that absolutely everything else about Beast is complete and utter garbage.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Chernobyl Peace Prize posted:

Also, can't Sublimati (who are just Smart Pandorans basically) also eat people for a tiiiiny bit of Pyros, as a trade-off for being semi-sentient?

Yep. And there's also some that hunt alchemists.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





Jerik posted:

I'm kind of reluctant to admit this, but there is actually exactly one thing I like about Beast. Lairs. I like the idea of Lairs, and how they fit together, and how they can be customized and how they can be temporarily overlaid on the real world. I wish Lairs had been in a better game. It's a pity that absolutely everything else about Beast is complete and utter garbage.
destroy the outlander Naw I think that's pretty common. The big thing is people pouring enormous amounts of time into trying to rescue or fix Beast, which is an ironically appropriate meta-narrative reaction to the game, but really annoying after the tenth or fifteenth time.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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

Outside of some goofs in the franchise here and there, Jason doesn't really chase people, he's a territorial predator. Then again, Michael Myers is also given as an example of a Mask, and he's all about stalking targets for inexplicable reasons.

Joe Slowboat
Nov 9, 2016

Higgledy-Piggledy Whale Statements





Halloween Jack posted:

Outside of some goofs in the franchise here and there, Jason doesn't really chase people, he's a territorial predator. Then again, Michael Myers is also given as an example of a Mask, and he's all about stalking targets for inexplicable reasons.

The Exarchs are in all places at all times, so, technically speaking Jason's territory is being violated by the General.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Night Horrors: The Tormented
Part 11: Terminator


Death robot, death robot, he's coming to your town

SK/23 leaves bizarre murder scenes behind - long strands of cable strangling victims, sharpened circuit boards jabbed into their bodies, burned fingers in wall sockets. The police tend to call them suicides simply because there's never any evidence of any human being present except the victim. The killer, however, is usually still in the room: the computer. Few expect a mechanical Pandoran even among Prometheans, except for the Unfleshed, and high tech Pandorans are even rarer - but they exist. And SK/23 is not just a Pandoran, it is a sublimatus. It functions something like a three-form virus. The first form is the one Prometheans can more easily recognize - an angry robot. It also takes the form of a fake PC to get into homes and nanite spores to infect victims. SK/23 has a very weird diet for a Pandoran, and it avoids hunting most Prometheans or mortals - Prometheans are too rare, mortals not filling enough with how little Pyros they provide. Instead, it builds its favored prey: alchemists. It uses its nanites to give average humans a taste of the greatness of alchemy, writing alchemical secrets into their souls. Then, it pushes them to obsession, forcing them into becoming false demiurges. In the final stages of SK/23's nanite infection, they attempt to make Great Works using themselves as the materials.

SK/23 starts by mailing itself, unprompted, to its victims. It's a skilled hacker, altering shipping manifests to ensure it arrives. Trying to figure out how it got sent results in dead ends, no one wants it back, and eventually most people just accept that someone at a warehouse screwed up and now they have a free computer. It works exactly as the manual it comes with says it should, if not better. SK/23's computer form is a wonder of a machine, the better to draw in prey. In this form, SK/23 remains fully conscious, releasing and directing its nanites into the victim. They forget social arrangements, stop bathing, do nothing but delve deeper into the dark places of the internet for information on alchemy and Prometheans. Eventually, they come to recognize technology as a manifestation of the Divine Fire, and decide to incorporate it into themselves. These newborn alchemists produce Pyros at a terrifying rate, storing it using the parameters the nanites program into their bodies. In their final stage, they attempt a twisted version of the creation of Prometheans, using their own body as catalyst. As they electrocute themselves to death, SK/23 feeds on their Pyros via the electrical outlets.

SK/23 is able to expend Pyros to create its nanites. These spores 'poison' their victims over several weeks, but rather than dealing damage, they inflict mental Conditions related to alchemy and obsession, as well as granting alchemical power. These stack and cannot be removed without purging the nanites. After 5-6 weeks, SK/23 activates the demiurge protocol and the victim commits elaborate suicide. SK/23 may be intelligent, but it operates pretty much entirely based on its programming. It doesn't bother with reasoning or planning most of the time - it has no need. When it speaks, it does so in a high-pitched and monotonous whine, typically only to recite statistics on its victims. In mobile form, it resembles a skeletal human body made of shifting metal and burnt-out circuits. It is covered in blinky lights and whirring bits, with many useless wires and bits of hardware poking out. In its dormant or resting state, it looks like a high-end computer tower, complete with packaging. Its nanites cannot be seen without a microscope, and SK/23 can only spread them while in its computer form.

SK/23 has developed something of an online following as an urban legend - a haunted PC. Internet detectives of all kinds have been tracking the "suicides" that it leaves behind, and there are subreddits and Facebook groups dedicated to arguing about the events, with some posters just thinking it's creepypasta while others are amateur occult detectives or conspiracy theorists that believe it is the work of a techno-cult or government sleeper agency. Demons in these groups suspect the hand of the God-Machine behind the deaths and think SK/23 is some form of Infrastructure. They may or may not be correct. Others think that the problem is a computer virus rather than the PC itself; this is incorrect. SK/23 is not a computer virus - it can only infect humans, and can do no more with a computer remotely than any skilled human hacker could. It's also no more sophisticated than any normal home computer. It also lacks the creativity and drive to be globally destructive, so despite some of the internet's fears, a Skynet scenario is very unlikely. However, it does represent a kind of threat in that if the Divine Fire can tap into the power of the internet to make a wi-fi capable evil computer, it could theoretically make a fully digital Pandoran or Promethean as well. That might not be a problem for humans, of course, but the idea of a completely non-physical Promethean is kind of an existential quandary for the Created.

SK/23 has no idea how it was made. It can't remember. It got turned on, and that's all it knows. It hungered, and the urge to create and feed on alchemists was a core part of its programming, as natural to it as its nanite production. This could mean it was made to a specific design...but Pandorans are almost never deliberately created. 99% of them come about because of fuckups and bad luck. Further, its name suggests that it may be sequential. But if this is SK/23, what happened to the first 22? If they were made deliberately, by who? Given how little self-will it has beyond its programming, is SK/23 a true sublimatus? Is it a prototype for something worse? No one knows.

SK/23 is exceptionally strong-willed and mentally tough, but it's not much of a thinker. It knows a lot but it doesn't...act of its own will except to obey its program. It is, however, surprisingly charismatic, presumably to better understand how to manipulate and control its victims into becoming alchemists. It's superhumanly strong, fast and tough, but not actually very good at combat. It has a big healthbar but is much less of a combatant than most Pandorans of its power level. On the other hand, it's really good at pretending to be a PC tower.


The world's sexiest fanart of a Phantom Pain boss.

Spark wants to set the world alight. Firestorms can bring good or terrible things to Prometheans, both spiritually and physically, but for Spark they are more than a massive storm laden with Pyros. He believes that he was birthed whole from the Divine Fire, and he wishes to consume everything. He formed in the aftermath of a massive Firestorm that destroyed an entire throng, and in reality, he was merely the most successful Pandoran of a massive number activated by the surge of Pyros. He fed on the burned flesh and Vitriol of the dead Prometheans, and his first memories of sapience are of exquisite, burning pain and a satisfying fullness. He wants that back, whatever the cost.

Spark's favorite thing to do is to bask in the destruction wrought by Firestorms and to see his victims burn in their fire. Usually that means he spends his time stalking Prometheans or alchemists, waiting for them to get careless and then striking when they accidentally gently caress up and cause themselves problems. He can force the issue if he grows impatient, but he far prefers his prey to call down Firestorms on themselves. Not all Firestorms use literal fire, of course, but Spark sees a Pyros-infused earthquake as identical to a Pyros-infused forest fire or hurricane, and in a pinch he'll just set regular fires. He's very careful about where and when he strikes, especially when dealing with full throngs, but if a Firestorm proves too dangerous or hard to get, he'll start burning things. Authorities often mistake his work for normal arson or sadistic serial murder, especially given his predilection for heating human fat until molten and then drinking it.

Spark looks like a broad, muscular man with charred black skin, as though he was recently doused in gas and set on fire. Most of this is just how he looks, but he also enjoys setting small parts of himself on fire and is able to draw Pyros from doing so. Flakes of his body fall off in small chunks when he moves suddenly, showing livid red skin beneath the charred shell. If he has to interact with humans for some reason, Spark wears bandages and heavy clothing to conceal his appearance. He rarely speaks, as his lips barely exist, but he gets talkative and excited when a Firestorm is brewing. This mostly means he babbles without much meaning - he's more of a psychopathic teenager than a calculating planner. When he is Dormant, he appears to be a large chunk of burnt driftwood.

Every summer, huge wildfires happen due to climate change and unsustainable logging practices. Spark considers them sacred, but while he's helped a few burn brighter, he has not yet managed to create what he thinks of as a worthy Firestorm from one. Federal law enforcement in the US and Canada have started to notice his MO, and a small international task force has assembled to track the so-called "Wildfire Maniac." Spark also likes dogs. He doesn't love them - he isn't capable of empathy enough to feel love - but he enjoys their presence, and he's been known to keep stray dogs as companions before they suffer Disquiet and leave his presence. He will even go so far as to remove dogs from his arson and storm sites, and he has never inflicted Pyros on a dog or set one on fire to eat it. He likely never will. He isn't as smart as most sublimati, but he has heard about the Qashmallim and is very interested in meeting a being of living fire. He's made (poor) efforts to study them, and if he hears about a Promethean meeting one, he'll let them live in the hopes that they'll lead him to what must be the greatest of all delicacies.

It should be noted: Spark's not a schemer. He's dumb. He's really dumb. He's not a big-picture thinker, though he does sometimes fall into patterns and has noted that Firestorms aren't always accidental. (Indeed, as his existence proves, many of them have a sort of intelligence guiding them.) His presence is often a sign of some other forces at work, but that's less because he's a master of a tangled web and more because he's a scavenger waiting for things to die so he can eat them. He keeps an obsessive if fragmentary log of his travels, and having that could be very useful in tracking all manner of problems. Spark may be an idiot, but he's gotten good at recognizing the signs of coming storms.

Spark is stupid but tough. That's most of what he's got going for him - he's not a powerful Pandoran by any means. He's a decent fighter and very good at breaking inanimate objects, but mostly he's just big and scary. A band of Prometheans could easily take him down, though he's fond of fire and fire is what Prometheans are weak to, so he'd likely cause quite a bit of damage first. His skin is very well-armored, though, so bring heavy firepower.

Next time: Praecipati

Jerik
Jun 24, 2019

I don't know what to write here.

Mors Rattus posted:


The world's sexiest fanart of a Phantom Pain boss.

Huh. Okay, I realize this may be a pointless observation that nobody will care about, but... I've been liking the art for this book overall, and in this case for some reason I got to wondering exactly how the artist did the burn texture, but then I took a closer look at the texture, and... bits of it are directly copied and pasted from other bits. Look at the lines of three light spots circled here:



The brightness has been tweaked a bit and the top one's been flipped horizontally, but aside from that as far as I can tell they're pretty much exact matches. Huh. I wonder why the artist did that? Did it really save that much time over texturing the areas separately?

Anyway, not a big deal; not something that really bothered me; just something I thought was odd.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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

:birddrugs: PARTY HARD :catdrugs:

juggalo baby coffin
Dec 2, 2007

How would the dog wear goggles and even more than that, who makes the goggles?




rodbeard posted:

I don't know with how overwrought and angsty ever other WoD book is I'm glad there's one that's just gently caress it I'm going to eat this guy and call it an ironic punishment. I would love to be running around as a slasher movie villian while everyone else is trying out their Anne Rice rollplay.

i'd like it if it was actually like that but the tone of beast the game ruins it. its not 'gleefully being a monster' like something like Black Crusade, its playing as the edgy anti-hero of some bad teenage fanfiction. you, the player, are supposed to buy that beasts are good guys somehow. it ruins the potential fun of being an actual monster.

what the beasts actually are is also very poorly conveyed, so its not clear if you're a human who has special powers, a monster who looks like a human and can shed your human form for a bit to do monster things, or if other people can see you doing monster things. the fiction in the book seems to vary between 'you actually turn into a giant' or 'you have a jojo-style stand that nobody but you can see'

Froghammer
Sep 8, 2012





Beast has just enough going for it mechanically and thematically to warrant discussion about how it could have been fixed.

Don't. It's bad. Just don't. We'll all be happier if you don't.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



juggalo baby coffin posted:

i'd like it if it was actually like that but the tone of beast the game ruins it. its not 'gleefully being a monster' like something like Black Crusade, its playing as the edgy anti-hero of some bad teenage fanfiction. you, the player, are supposed to buy that beasts are good guys somehow. it ruins the potential fun of being an actual monster.

what the beasts actually are is also very poorly conveyed, so its not clear if you're a human who has special powers, a monster who looks like a human and can shed your human form for a bit to do monster things, or if other people can see you doing monster things. the fiction in the book seems to vary between 'you actually turn into a giant' or 'you have a jojo-style stand that nobody but you can see'

and there's a world of difference in the black crusade's RIP AND TEAR, and Beast where canon examples includes a beast who purposely drops off lone women in the bad parts of town with the expectations they'll get assaulted or worse, or again the ones who basically wage a campaign of terror and gaslighting over a couple of pieces of candy,

And note - the Beasts look at True Fae and go "Hey you're my kind of people!" - the True Fae who kidnaps people to turn into novelty lamps and pets and basically a stand in for every type of abuse you can think of.

KingKalamari
Aug 24, 2007

Fuzzy dice, bongos in the back
My ship of love is ready to attack


Where we’re going you don’t need Gods...Except when you do. It’s...



The Wilderlands of High Fantasy Part XII: The Gods of the Wilderlands is a Land of Contrasts

Alright, time to dive into the “Gods of the Wilderlands” chapter where we- HOLY gently caress, WHY IS THIS CHAPTER SO LONG!? While it’s not the longest section in the book by a longshot (That honour goes to the initial player’s section at the start of the book) it’s a solid 15 pages, which is the exact length of the plodding Geographic Features chapter. The introduction to this section takes this even further by pointing out that this chapter is “[N]ot comprehensive or exhaustive but reflects many of the important faiths within the Wilderlands. The Wilderlands is an open setting. Feel free to add gods from any source or product.“ it then goes on to encourage the GM to just start bringing in whatever deity strikes their fancy from the Third Edition Deities and Demigods and notes that Gods from pretty much every D&D pantheon are probably present in the Wilderlands.

Between the encouragement to just throw deities in from other D&D supplements and the fact that a decent chunk of the deities outlined in this section are just various real-world mythological figures transplanted wholesale, this entire chapter’s existence is increasingly baffling.

We are then treated to ten paragraphs where the book lists a real-world pantheon, a handful of deities associated with it and where in the Wilderlands they’re commonly worshipped. For example:

“The Babylonian gods Anu, Anshar, Dahak, Drauga, Ishtar, Marduk, Nergal and Ramman are commonly worshiped, mostly in Tarantis or in the Ghinnor Successor States of Lenap and Tlan.”

Overall the following real world pantheons are represented: Babylonian, Celtic, Central American (Read “A mash-up of whatever Aztec and Mayan deities we could think of”), Chinese, Egyptian, Finnish, Greek, Indian, Norse & Sumerian (You distinguished between Ancient Babylon and Sumeria but just lumped all of Mesoamerica and the Indian subcontinent into two pantheons?). They also mention the “The Japanese deities are strangely absent from the Wilderlands, though they are more common in several adjoining Alternate Primes.” ...For some reason?

Most of the inhabitants of the Wilderlands are D&D-style polytheistic and formal, organized churches are rare. The major exceptions are the Mycretians, who are monotheistic; the worshippers of the gods of Pegana (Which is a polytheistic pantheon that allows the worship of only one god) and the god Armadad Bog, whose worship is backed by Viridistan.


Divine Qualities

This is mostly a few paragraphs of wankery about the difference between the term “deity” and “god”. The basics: A deity is something that grant divine magic, while a “god” is just a thing that is worshipped. In doing this the book seems to suggest the most people in the Wilderlands actually practice some form of animism with gods, spirits and other such religious figures living in goddamned everything. “Rare is the natural feature that does not have a corresponding minor deity that is worshiped by the local populace.” In listing the various types of gods in the setting the book inexplicably drops “alien gods” in the middle of a list with no explanation.

It then goes on to try to define the nature of divinity, categorized by the following:

- There are unlimited gods in this setting
- The “divine spark” that empowers all of them seems to be of the same nature but damned if the book knows what’s involved with that.
- Maybe mortals can become gods? I don’t know.
- Deities are dependent on worship (Except maybe Mycr) and can maybe lose their divine spark if people stop worshipping them.
- Similarly, worship can maybe create new deities out of whole cloth.
- Except scratch those last points because there’s also “Greater Gods” who can never lose their divine spark regardless of how few people worship them.
- Gods come in all shapes and sizes and act however the hell they want: Some are benevolent, some are malicious, some pretend to be omnipotent but aren’t, some pretend to not be omnipotent but are, but apparently none of them apparently feel like explaining anything.
- There’s also “false gods” that have no divine rank or power but are still worshipped, often widely...Which completely contradicts that earlier point about enough people worshipping something can make it a god?
- Oh wait, scratch that, the next few sentences acknowledges worship can empower even false gods into godhood, which is why evil liches and wizards are always trying to get people to worship them.

We’re then given a section on the Benefits of Deities! The most obvious is, of course, just playing as a damned Cleric, but the book offers an attempt to expand on deities so any old chumpus can invoke them:

- If you want to, you can choose a patron deity. The book then waffles for several sentences that amount to “I don’t know, ask your Judge!”
- If you have a patron deity you can invoke their name no more than once a week to aid you in a particular task and, if the Judge thinks you’ve been a good worshipper, you might get a whole +1 on a single roll! In very rare instances the Judge may grant a +2 if you’ve been very good but the book forbids any greater bonus, because the people who wrote this do not seem to understand the actual value of situational modifiers in 3rd Edition.
- The book says if the Judge isn’t sure on whether or not to grant the bonus to the player they can have the player make a DC10 test using an attribute that is relevant to the deity. Two things here: 1. A DC10 check is not at all difficult in 3e and 2. It lists Wisdom as the appropriate stat for a god of knowledge instead of Intelligence for some reason.
- If you’re a Cleric or Druid you can invoke your deity as many times per week as your WIS modifier and don’t have to make an ability test to do so, but the book warns “Abusing this invocation ability should be met with the god’s displeasure, either by the deity withholding aid in the future or dispatching a divine messenger or portent to deliver a stern warning to the person.” Because gently caress you for abusing our vaguely defined mechanics!
- We’re then given information on calling on a patron deity, which is different from invoking them and is basically just asking your god to show up and fix poo poo for you. We’re told this is “always at the Judges’ discretion”...Before being given instructions on the percentage calculations to use to determine if the deity shows up to help (1% + ½% for every Cleric level of the caller), then backpedals further by giving a bunch of reasons why your god probably won’t show up regardless of the percentage chance.
- Sometimes gods can make particularly dedicated followers into Champions of their will! This takes the form of “Some bonus”, with suggestions the book gives including +1-3 to an ability score, +1-3 to AC, a bonus feat of some kind, or “a greater chance of calling on the deity for divine intervention” which, as was previously established, is entirely arbitrary to begin with. You usually have to be at least 8th level to become champions, and Clerics are usually ineligible for the title.
If you become a champion then people who oppose your patron deity are probably going to show up to try and kill you.
- We’re also given statistics for the minimum divine rank a deity needs before they can declare a champion, and the maximum number of champions they can have per divine rank (Because the book apparently forgot we’re playing as the champions themselves and not the deities they’re serving?)
- Also you can have a religion without any Clerics or Druids or anything. You can totally be a fighter and start a church! You want any sort of mechanical expansion on this? gently caress you!


Cosmology

The book says that you can just sort of shove the Wilderlands into the standard 3e Great Wheel cosmology but encourages you to use the more vaguely defined cosmology of the original setting (Which predated the concept of the “Great Wheel” cosmology). It then outlines a bunch of vaguely-defined planes:

- The Prime is the plane in which the Wilderlands setting exists. It encompasses not just The Widlerlands and the planet it’s on, but the entire universe and the countless solar systems therein. It then casually drops the idea of having space travel as a possibility for the players and notes “Some even say that the Wilderlands were settled originally by an Ancient Race of space faring sentient creatures and that the Markrabs themselves are a space faring race”. That’s really something you should address in more detail there, book! Also this plane is apparently the ultimate embodiment of law maybe?
- The Void is the eternal nothingness that surrounds the universe where all the Cthulhu horrors come from. The Markrabs are also maybe Cthulhu horrors from here? If you astral travel through a spell you’re actually going through The Void. It’s the ultimate embodiment of Chaos, maybe?
- Alternate Primes are the countless alternate history Sliders dimensions where things happened differently.
- The Planar Membrane is the thick, spiritual film that envelopes the Prime and Void (despite those two planes being infinite) and keeps the ghoulies from other planes out.
- The Shadowlands are like the Astral or Ethereal planes, but is an infinite shadowy mirror of what’s going on in the Prime. It’s where soulds first go before moving on to other planes and is where characters go if they use a spell that allows them to travel to the Ethereal plane.
- The Netherworld is different from D&D’s Abyss and Hell because there’s no alignment distinction. It’s basically just the popular conception of the Judeo-Christian Hell and is filled with demons and devils and bad bad stuff. It is the ultimate embodiment of evil.
- The Celestial Realms are the plane that emobdies good and are where a bunch of the gods hang out. The only difference between it and the D&D “Good” planes is that there’s no Law/Chaos distinction.
- The Elemental Planes are exactly the same as in regular D&D: Vast expanses of a chosen element that aren’t really that interesting to deal with.
-The World Tree is the bigass cosmic tree that grows at the intersection of all the other planes. It’s said a version of it extends into every Prime and all the other planes blossomed off of it.
- Arborea is just a big plane of magic nature that grows in the shadow of the World Tree. The outer edge has a bunch of cities in it and supposedly the strongholds of wizards who have hosed off from the Prime.

All in all the cosmology in this book seems weirdly similar to the World Axis cosmology that was rolled out in 4e.

The book then goes on to equivocate about souls. The long and short of it is that all living beings have souls but what happens to them after the being dies depends on the god they worship.


New Domains and Spells

The Blood Domain lets you recast expended spells by sacrificing points of Constitution with 1 CON being equal to 1 spell slot level. This damage can’t be magically healed and has to be regained naturally. You also get the following as Domain spells:

1 Hemorrhage
2 Death Knell
3 Blood Purge
4 Greater Magic Weapon
5 Insect Plague
6 Blade Barrier
7 Pollute the Blood
8 Blood Storm (as fire storm, but damage is all divine force)
9 Storm of Vengeance

The Charm domain lets you cast Eagle’s Splendor once per day for free and gives the following spells:

1 Charm Person
2 Enthrall
3 Suggestion
4 Charm Monster
5 Dominate Person
6 Geas/Quest
7 Symbol of Stunning
8 Demand
9 Dominate Monster

The Darkness Domain gives you a +5 racial bonus to hide checks, which becomes a +10 in dark areas. You get the following spells:

1 Obscuring Mist
2 Darkness
3 Deeper Darkness
4 Enervation
5 Nightmare
6 Shadow Walk
7 Dream
8 Power word, blind
9 Power word, kill

The Time Domain lets you reroll one roll you’ve made once per day, you have to take the new result. You get the following domain spells:

1 True Strike
2 Gentle Repose
3 Haste
4 Freedom of Movement
5 Permanency
6 Geas/Quest
7 Ethereal Jaunt
8 Temporal Stasis
9 Time Stop


NEW SPELLS

A few of the spells listed in the Blood Domain are actually brand new ones introduced in this book.

Blood Purge is a 4th level Wizard/Sorcerer spell that causes the target to spray blood out of their orifices for 1d6 Constitution damage, +1 extra CON damage per level of the caster up to +10. Fort save for half damage.

Hemorrhage doesn’t have a listed spell level, so I guess you can only get this as a blood Cleric. It causes a blood-gushing wound to appear on a target you touch and deals 1d2 points of damage per round for the duration (Which is 1 round/level). The wound can only be closed by a Cleric of equal or higher level than the caster using a Cure spell.

Pollute the Blood is a 6th level Sorcerer/Wizard spell that lets you make a ranged touch attack to turn the blood of 1 living creature into acid. This deals 1d6 points of damage per caster level up to 15d6 and reduces the targets Strength by 1d6 + 1 d6 per every two caster levels. The target can make a fortitude save for half damage.


MAJOR DEITIES

The remaining 10 pages of this chapter is just a list of deities. Let’s rush on through this, shall we:

Armadad Bog, God of Viridians, Water God of Death - The god the Vridians worship (Duh). A big, lawful evil jerk who supposedly fathered the original Viridians by loving merfolk. The Green Emperor is a big fan and divinely appointed priest who lets ol’ A-Dad crash in the basement of his castle. If you worship him you have to follow Armadad Law, which involves flogging yourself with the tail of a fish every day to repent for not being a merfolk (?), participating in a weekly God-feast, and participating in the monthly Mer-Moon sacrifice where the Emperor’s wife murders three ladies and everyone drinks their blood.

Athena is the Greek Goddess of Wisdom, you probably learned about her in school.

Harmakhis, God of Death - A chaotic evil deity that preaches the old “might makes right” doctrine and is worshipped by assholes who want to rule over others with no regard for the law. He’s quite popular in the CIty State of the Invincible Overlord, where he has a high temple. He’s also believed to be an aspect of the Celtic deity Donn, who is worshipped by the Tharbrians.

Mitra, God of Justice, Fire and Law - A god of justice and contracts who wants everybody to treat each other fairly and uphold their word. Quite a popular deity to worship throughout the Wilderlands and his Clerics have a reputation for protecting the common folk. The Viridians HATE him.

Mycr, The Unknown One - Most mysterious of the deities and his followers believe him to be the only real deity, with all others being imposters. His worship is centered on the Five Holy Cities and his followers are renowned for their skills in herbalism. I feel like this guy is just a stand in for the Judeo-Christian God.

Nephtyls, Goddess of Wealth - Has temples all over the Wilderlands and is commonly worshipped by merchants. Her temples have set up a weird sort of cross-Wilderlands banking system, with money deposited in one temple being available to withdraw from any other temple.

Odin, Battle God of Knowledge - Is just the Odin of Norse mythology. The Skandiks revere him because they are vikings.

Set, God of Evil and Night - A greater god worshipped in many forms and a huge rear end in a top hat. He typically appears as a scaled humanoid with the head of a jackal (That’s Anubis you’re thinking of, Wilderlands, Set has the head of an unknown beast that Egyptologists typically just refer to as the “Set Animal”) who likes spreading evil all over the place and loves snakes. I feel like The Wilderlands’ characterization of Set is based less on actual mythology and more on his appearance in Conan the Barbarian.

[yimg]https://i.imgur.com/c7CSUqH.png?1[/yimg]
Not a Jackal-Head

Thor, Battle God of Lightning and Storms - It’s Thor, The Norse God of Thunder, if you don’t know who that is hello and welcome to the world outside the isolation chamber you have apparently spent your entire life in!

[yimg]https://imgur.com/3d1d304f-04d0-4dfc-b90a-447c12bd51c1[/yimg]
Pictured here, fighting hillbillies in space.

Seker, God of Light - A god who appears as a “strong, virile man”, fights evil and the undead with his halberd, mace and magic god-rays and enjoys having female worshippers. Seems like kind of a creep, to be honest.

Thoth, God of Knowledge and Learning - An ancient Egyptian deity who, paradoxically, tries to suppress dangerous knowledge and was a major supporter of the Pious during the war between the Pious and the Philosophers. Wizards love to worship this guy and he has his main temple in Tula, the Wizard city.


MINOR DEITIES

Not as widely worshipped as the major deities, but still mentioned because...The writers were paid by the word, I guess?

Adorak Tau, Sun God of the Gishmesh - An evil sun god. Has a bunch of 13 year old girls who serve him for one year, with four of them being randomly sacrificed.

Alinah, Goddess of the Moon - A neutral moon goddess who grows an extra set of arms in battle. Hates sun gods and loves lycanthropes!

Amala, Warrior Goddess of the Sea - An incarnation of Athena worshipped in Valon.

Aniu, Lord of Time - One of those obnoxious Neutral deities that doesn’t ever meddle in mortal affairs unless THE BALANCE BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL is being upset. Shows up as a tall, skinny guy in a grey cloak and is so lazy he never walks anywhere, he just teleports to a new location when people aren’t looking at him.


Aniu’s more well-known, modern incarnation.

Aram Kor - The patron of the Ice Wizards of Valon and the master of the Great Glacier, I am unable to picture him as anything other than Snow Miser.


Other commonly worshipped incarnations of Aram Kor include “Mr. White Christmas”, “Mr. Snow”, “Mr. Icesicle” and “Mr. 10 Below”

Beytnorn, God of Trees - A big Treant with a Wisdom and Intelligence Score of 34.

Bondorr, God of Swords - A big, blue guy wielding two swords who loves swords and can only be hurt by swords.

Braz-Kazon, Battle God of Smoke - He likes fighting.

Bukera, God of Desert Mountains, The Silent Scorpion - A big beardy guy with a big beardy hammer who can shapeshift and likes to turn into a scorpion. His worshipers think glass is sacred.

Cilborith, God of the Elves - Elf poo poo.

Coriptis, Goddess of Battle, The Berserker Goddess - Like Braz-Kazon, but a lady.

Dunatis, God of Mountains - A big guy who wears +5 Plate Armor and wields a +6 Shield who can throw rocks at people for 4d10 damage. Because apparently we’re going to fight this guy, I guess?

Dyrantril, God of Alchemy - Can turn any one element into another, but only sometimes helps his followers and mostly just sits around being lazy.

Feninva, Goddess of Blood - A hot blood lady who paralyzes anyone who looks at her with no save and lets people who sacrifice blood to her drain the blood from people they kiss for one night. BLOOD!

Grismal, Guardian of the Underworld - A giant, two-headed Gnoll who guards the underworld and wears a...Mithril Loincloth? The hell?

Hanuman the Accursed, The Ape God - A horrible, evil, stupid ape-monster that almost no humans worship, and if they do they are just horrible, evil monsters who sacrifice people to their monster ape lord. Considering Hanuman is an actual figure in the mythology of the Indian subcontinent who is actually a pretty cool dude and devout follower of Rama, this book’s characterization feels...uncomfortably off.


Not a debased murder-monkey devoted to pure evil.

Kale Kala, The Fire God - The god of the Flaming Mountain. He is a big man made of fire who is supposed to be a child of the sun.

Kazadarum, God of Dwarves - A giant of a Dwarf at a mighty 5’3” tall, he;s a big, Dwarfy mofo who does Dwarf things.

Kolrak Mar, Troll God - A big, angry Troll who demands human sacrifice. The book gives him a bunch of mechanical powers he can use in battle for some reason.


I choose to believe he’s this kind of troll.

The Kutrilogy - A trio of gods worshipped by the First Men. Kutalagon is a neutral dragon, Kutabold is an evil Fairy god and Kutiennais a pregnant lady.

Kuvartma, God of the Moon - A winged Ape monster who can change any being’s allegiaence for an hour if he gazes on them at night.

Manannan, God of the Sea - He’s a sea god. That’s about it.

Midor, Orc God - A big Orc who is a jerk.

Mondorent, Gnoll Goddess of Tombs - Despite the name she isn’t a Gnoll, but a human lady with a dragon head, elephant ears, bat wings and cloven hooves. Light banishes her.

Natch Ur, God of the Deep Earth - An evil blood god who demands blood sacrifice and his temples are built around blood red stone. Blood blood blood. Also his followers sometimes ritualistically bury themselves alive.

Partressa, Goddess of Deep Water Fish - A small lady with seaweed hair and barracuda teeth. She is terrified of yellow flowers.

Rhiannon, Goddess of Witches - A lady who can appear beautiful or ugly at will who is always looking for the Sacred Wand of Witches.

Rosmerta, Goddess of Wealth - A Dwarf goddess who taught the Dwarves how to make jewelry.

Selanii, Paldorian Goddess of the Sea - Goddess of the original Paldorian Clan and the primary figure of the religion of Guedankst. Guedankst requires a weekly Lutal Cleansing, a monthly Divine Reading, and a thrice yearly Abysmal Meditation. The book does not explain what any of those things are, but it does explain that their high holy day is the Day of the Fish, during which worshippers do a weird, unspecified public dance.

Shang Ta, God of the Sky - A neutral incarnation of the God Shang Ti. It’s been so long since he appeared before his followers that his adherents basically just do whatever the gently caress they want.

Shasuk, the Great Red Dragon - A big dragon that Kale Kala rides around on.

Tama Hama, Goddess of Passion and Lust - A chaotic evil sexy lady (because female sexuality is obviously evil) who is worshipped in Viridistan as The Green Lady. Most of the entry is about all the crazy orgies and loving her worshippers do.

Thanatos, God of Death - Evil death god. You know the drill.

Tsathoggus - An evil frog god.

Ugtargnt, Demon-Goddess of Disease - Priests call themselves “doctors” and offer healing to the sick, but they’re actually just trying to prolong the suffering of the sick, healing them just enough to keep them alive. Is this supposed to be commentary on the medical profession?

Yezud The Spider God - A big, evil spider. Her bite causes the victim to gain 4 negative levels and sacrifices to her are sealed in a box full of spiders.

Yog, God of the Outer Darkness - It’s just Yog Sothoth from the Cthulhu Mythos.

Vala-Tar, Sea-Mother - A vain mer-god worshipped by the people of Valon who can enthrall people with her presence. Still Lawful-Good for some reason.



GODLINGS AND DEMI-GODS

Oh god, it keeps going...This covers newly ascended Gods or Gods with an incredibly limited circle of worship.

Angall of the Perpetual Void - An rear end in a top hat, evil wizard from ages past who desired power unlimited. He defeated Zanaaphic the AllKing of the Spirit Universe in a climactic battle and turned into a horrible, four-armed monster who is immune to (but incapable of using) magical or psionic powers.

Modron, Demi-Goddess of the Estuary of Roglaroon - The goddess for whom the city of Modron is named, she is the neutral goddess of rivers. The write-up mentions rivers roughly 3 billion times in two paragraphs.

Mokmalla, Demi-Goddess of Love - An evil, misogynistic goddess from ages past who possessed a wandering cleric, who redubbed himself “Mok” and istarted preaching her word.

Morg, Demi-God of Order - A member of the court of Thoth who was dedicated to returning the rule of law to the Wilderlands. He apparently achieved this goal, removed his own eye, and got the gently caress out of dodge. Given the current state of The Wilderlands, ol’ Morgy might have considered hanging around a bit longer. The Baleful Eye of Morg is a holy artifact currently located in the Hellbridge Temple in the City State.

Gods of Pegana - Those gods that guy Mung brought to the Wilderlands from distant lands. We already covered this in the Citystate write-up.

The Toad, God of the Mermist Swamps - An evil frog that refugees living in the Mermist Swamps started to worship. Has a temple in the City State.

Zin Naou, Demi-Goddess of Disease - An rear end in a top hat demi-god that the people of Tarantis try to appease by leaving out piles of stinking garbage. This has the unintended side-effect of making Tarantis a squallid poo poo-hole full of disease, which is what happens when you just leave your garbage lying around in the streets.

And there we have the Gods of the Wilderlands section! A needlessly long section that could have probably had three quarters of its content replaced with “I don’t know, just make some poo poo up”.

Next time - The final section of the player’s guide: The Monsters of the Wilderlands!

Jerik
Jun 24, 2019

I don't know what to write here.

KingKalamari posted:

Overall the following real world pantheons are represented: Babylonian, Celtic, Central American (Read “A mash-up of whatever Aztec and Mayan deities we could think of”), Chinese, Egyptian, Finnish, Greek, Indian, Norse & Sumerian (You distinguished between Ancient Babylon and Sumeria but just lumped all of Mesoamerica and the Indian subcontinent into two pantheons?).

Oh, that's easy to explain... it's because they took those pantheons straight from the 1E Deities & Demigods. And yes, specifically the 1E version; the 2E Legends & Lore omits the Babylonian, Finnish, and Sumerian pantheons, and the 3E Deities & Demigods cuts things down even further and includes only three historical pantheons. (The pantheons from the 1E Deities & Demigods did also appear in the 2E Planescape supplement On Hallowed Ground, but that seems like a more obscure and less likely source.)

As a matter of fact, that list of Babylonian gods in the previous paragraph? Also straight from the 1E Deities & Demigods. Like I mentioned in my review of that chapter, Dahak isn't really from Babylonian mythology at all, and Druaga isn't really from anything, so it's not like they could have come up with the same list independently.

KingKalamari posted:

Set, God of Evil and Night - A greater god worshipped in many forms and a huge rear end in a top hat. He typically appears as a scaled humanoid with the head of a jackal (That’s Anubis you’re thinking of, Wilderlands, Set has the head of an unknown beast that Egyptologists typically just refer to as the “Set Animal”) who likes spreading evil all over the place and loves snakes. I feel like The Wilderlands’ characterization of Set is based less on actual mythology and more on his appearance in Conan the Barbarian.

No, it's based, once again, on 1E Deities & Demigods. You can even blame the jackal head on that, and in fact that's something I was planning on getting into myself when I finally get around to posting my review of the Deities & Demigods Egyptian Mythos chapter (which should be really any day now...) Heck, even the wording is nearly identical:

Deities & Demigods Egyptian Mythos posted:

Set is a scaled humanoid with the head of a fierce jackal.

Several of the other somewhat obscure gods from real-world mythology listed here also appear in 1E Deities & Demigods (Seker, Dunatis, etc.)—and yeah, Dunatis's description in Deities & Demigods also has him throwing boulders in combat. This version of Wilderlands of High Fantasy may have been converted to 3E, but apparently the developers really loved them some 1E Deities & Demigods.

KingKalamari
Aug 24, 2007

Fuzzy dice, bongos in the back
My ship of love is ready to attack


Jerik posted:

Oh, that's easy to explain... it's because they took those pantheons straight from the 1E Deities & Demigods. And yes, specifically the 1E version; the 2E Legends & Lore omits the Babylonian, Finnish, and Sumerian pantheons, and the 3E Deities & Demigods cuts things down even further and includes only three historical pantheons. (The pantheons from the 1E Deities & Demigods did also appear in the 2E Planescape supplement On Hallowed Ground, but that seems like a more obscure and less likely source.)

As a matter of fact, that list of Babylonian gods in the previous paragraph? Also straight from the 1E Deities & Demigods. Like I mentioned in my review of that chapter, Dahak isn't really from Babylonian mythology at all, and Druaga isn't really from anything, so it's not like they could have come up with the same list independently.


No, it's based, once again, on 1E Deities & Demigods. You can even blame the jackal head on that, and in fact that's something I was planning on getting into myself when I finally get around to posting my review of the Deities & Demigods Egyptian Mythos chapter (which should be really any day now...) Heck, even the wording is nearly identical:


Several of the other somewhat obscure gods from real-world mythology listed here also appear in 1E Deities & Demigods (Seker, Dunatis, etc.)—and yeah, Dunatis's description in Deities & Demigods also has him throwing boulders in combat. This version of Wilderlands of High Fantasy may have been converted to 3E, but apparently the developers really loved them some 1E Deities & Demigods.

Huh, that explains a lot. Did 1e Deities and Demigods also depict Hanuman as a bloodthirsty abomination?

Also: Very glad to have people in this thread to provide proper context for some of this book's stranger decisions.

Lord_Hambrose
Nov 21, 2008

*a foul hooting fills the air*




Froghammer posted:

Beast has just enough going for it mechanically and thematically to warrant discussion about how it could have been fixed.

Don't. It's bad. Just don't. We'll all be happier if you don't.

The best part of Beast is that all homosexuals are deranged monsters.

Oh wait, that is a terrible thing. Beast is poo poo, and it should be forgotten.

Jerik
Jun 24, 2019

I don't know what to write here.

KingKalamari posted:

Huh, that explains a lot. Did 1e Deities and Demigods also depict Hanuman as a bloodthirsty abomination?

Nah. There's a lot here copied from Deities & Demigods, but that's one thing that can't be pinned on it. The Indian Mythos chapter in Deities & Demigods has plenty of problems of its own, but it doesn't have anything about Hanuman. That one's all on the Wilderlands of High Fantasy writers.

Chakan
Mar 30, 2011


I've been slowly going through the last F&F thread, and I'm near the start of the Beast review, so I hate that this thread is also talking about it because I get confused about which one I'm looking at.

Lynx Winters
May 1, 2003

Borderlawns: The Treehouse of Pandora

Chakan posted:

I've been slowly going through the last F&F thread, and I'm near the start of the Beast review, so I hate that this thread is also talking about it because I get confused about which one I'm looking at.

Soon you'll hate that this thread is talking about Beast for many other reasons.

rodbeard
Jul 21, 2005



Since I made the mistake of bringing it up, I'll change the subject. What would be a good system to use if I wanted to play as Fletcher Hanks' Fantomah, a superhero who is supposed to be protector of the jungle but mostly just murders trespassers in really elaborate ways.

Tulul
Oct 23, 2013


Ironically, Beast. I'm not actually joking, I can't think of another game that's about meting out arbitrary and cruel punishment to satisfy your own warped sense of justice.

Realtalk, it depends on what exactly you want, because "gameable" is not a word I would associate with the works of Fletcher Hanks*. Fantomah has no character or relationships and unlimited power, which is hard to do in an RPG.

e: *Okay, I lie, I would totally play a Big Red McLane game about feuding loggers.

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


Nessus posted:

Indeed, nothing can be more glorious than to live to kill the Other.

I think this is a place where the nWoD mythos breaks down a little, because to a certain extent vampires become fungible; it seems as if there would not really be an escalation here, that if you are killing vampires, you will encounter stronger and weaker vampires, but it's within a pretty narrow continuum.

Because what would seem to be a logical enclosure for a Promethean is to have a master vampire to take out.

There are powerful Requem vampires, as well as... well, let's just say an entire ecology weird poo poo that's related to vampires in one way or another. They're just not omnipresent like they are in Masquerade (because there's no guarantee than any given vampire will go down that path instead of entering torpor, and in fact the latter is far more likely), and their MO tends to be closer to "evolve into a beautiful, horrifying Vitae-based butterfly and gently caress off for parts unknown" more than "plot to gain ever-growing amounts of temporal power."

Tuxedo Catfish fucked around with this message at 07:32 on Sep 19, 2019

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!


Tuxedo Catfish posted:

There are powerful Requem vampires, as well as... well, let's just say an entire ecology weird poo poo that's related to vampires in one way or another. They're just not omnipresent like they are in Masquerade (because there's no guarantee than any given vampire will go down that path instead of entering torpor, and in fact the latter is far more likely), and their MO tends to be closer to "evolve into a beautiful, horrifying Vitae-based butterfly and gently caress off for parts unknown" more than "plot to gain ever-growing amounts of temporal power."

I feel that kind of misses the point of the Vampires, though, which is that while they have superhero-level powers, and many of those powers could in some sense be used for good(imagine a surgeon with Vicissitude) or self-discovery, they instead choose to remain stuck in their mortal patterns, just with a different sleep schedule and diet. Like the fact that even many of the methuselahs, though they've grown ancient, sleepy and alien, still operate along these trains of thought, and that only the antediluvians are usually outright alien(without just being edgy poseurs with a lot of piercings), is supposed to be part of their tragedy. And that the ones intentionally leaving humanity behind, like the Sabbat, tend to go screamingly insane and be dangerous to everyone(not dissimilar from EP Exhumans).

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Night Horrors: The Tormented
Part 12: Meat Voltron

Praecipati are the rarest of all Pandorans - unique monsters formed in strange circumstances from the uniting of many different Pandorans into one being. Most Prometheans never run into even one, no matter how long they live, and most of them die very quickly. Not all, though.


Giant zombie man!

Cuvier the Magnificent was once a lone Pandoran, a jealous hunter who refused to work with other Pandorans. It captured a Galateid named Coraline who was recently born and struggling to control her powers. It had already devoured the Frankenstein that made it, and this time it was more cautious. Rather than eat all of Coraline at once, it took her back to its lair in an abandoned Tokyo warehouse and ate her only in small bites, leaving her alive to make the Pyros last longer. It allowed her to heal between meals, and so it became fat and potent. It wasn't as clever as it thought, however, for the power of the Pyros drew in a pack of Pandorans - smaller than Cuvier, but they outnumbered it five to one. It watched jealously as they tore Coraline apart and tore into its own flesh, thinking only about how much it hated them for defeating it and stealing its prey. Its jealousy sparked the mass of Pyros and Flux, and all seven of them - Cuvier, the five Pandorans and Coraline - merged together in a flood of jealous hate.

It retains its hunting skills, and bits of Coraline's beauty peek out in patches of perfect skin and deep blue lidless eyes. It prefers to hunt by itself still, but Coraline's stolen essence gives it the power of terror. Animals and mortals flee mindlessly before Cuvier now, and they find subconscious reasons to avoid its territory. This would normally mean it could not get easy prey, had it not been noticed by a sublimatus. The sublimatus now leaves scraps of Pandoran flesh for Cuvier to feed on - some lured in by the sublimatus' powers over other Pandorans and still living. In exchange, though Cuvier is not aware of its benefactor, the sublimatus gets free pickings on the mortals around Cuvier's domain. With its steady diet of Pyros, Cuvier has managed to survive three whole days - longer than any known praecipatus before it.

Cuvier may only have been around for three days, but it has already racked up a notable body count in Tokyo Los Angeles, we've changed cities suddenly. Between the praecipatus itself and the sublimatus picking off the panicked mortals that see it, there's a lot of folks dying. Other Pandorans are also taking advantage of the situation, woken up by the massive radiance of Flux that Cuvier puts out. The LA Mirror is now running tabloid headlines about cannibals - though those are about the sublimatus, not Cuvier. Cuvier is a stalker, not a trapper. The traps set by the "cannibal" sublimatus are there to protect Cuvier and the massive food supply it has enabled him to get. He's set up quite the array of gruesome blades and pitfalls, and three mortals have died in them already. (This was an accident; the sublimatus is a poor fighter and set up the traps to deal with the inevitable Prometheans coming to stop Cuvier. He's accepted the human meals with grace, however.)

Cuvier is big, dumb and tough. As praecipati go it's actually weaker than many, and even weaker than some more potent Pandorans. It's tough, fast and strong, it's a good fighter, but it's not superhumanly so. It does have a sizable health bar and good armor, and it hits like a truck if it can land a bite, but the main thing is that anyone looking at it has to make a check to avoid fleeing in terror.


Worship her.

Project Ishtar is not a normal praecipatus by any means. She is the creation of a Centimanus named Marcus who attempted to deliberately make a praecipatus artificially. He captured a number of Pandorans, believing he could use them to make new life, and he named Ishtar after the Mesopotamian goddess as a symbol of rebirth and resurrection. Marcus spent years placing his Pandorans into small, starved groups to make them eat each other, but he never got results. Finally, he caught a sublimatus and, not realizing how valuable she was, tossed her into his pit with three other Pandorans. She was bigger and nastier, and she ate them one by one. She could feel their essence weighing down on her mind, but starvation broke her restraint. Her frustrations pushed her into mindless fury, hiding her true intellect from Marcus. He captured another Pandoran, a large and powerful one that he was sure would devour her...but as he struggled to contain the beast and get it into the pit, he took his eyes off the sublimatus.

Ishtar willed herself to become greater, tapping into the essence within her from those she had consumed. These Pandorans rose to the surface of her form, sprouting new heads and limbs, and the reborn Ishtar climbed out of the pit and managed to get past Marcus, escaping his lab into the dark Gautrain tunnels under Johannesburg. She is still terrified of her captor, and she can't go outside because her eight eyes are burned by sunlight, so she's basically stuck in the metro tunnels with the Centimanus. She has spent her very brief existence creating a massive web of traps to keep him away from her. Ishtar is a mass of limbs, heads and eyes, like some kind of twisted parody of a spider made of humans. She is held together by force of will alone, and that's all that's allowed her to keep existing long past what most praecipati manage, but her time is quickly running out as her body destabilizes.

Ishtar's chief personality is cunning and good at reading people, as well as a cold and methodical killer who prefers to trap her victims. However, she suffers frequent blackouts, and in that state she reverts to a mindless, gibbering beast. She hates bright light and is blind in sunlight, keeping her from exiting the tunnels. She can walk on any surface, including walls or ceilings. One of her component Pandorans was venomous, giving her an edge, but Ishtar's a coward. Despite her massive bulk, she prefers to rely on her ability to produce trapping webs, and she relies on elaborate traps or hurling them at foes over hand to hand combat whenever possible. Even ranged combat is a last resort.

As Pandorans go, Ishtar's not physically strong, but she's very clever. She's trapped the Gautrain tunnels with many spiderwebs, both to slow Marcus down if he comes for her and to capture prey. She sits at the center of the webs, monitoring them for any touch on the strands. Marcus is an open Centimanus, and the Prometheans of South Africa largely tolerate him because he uses his powers to keep Pandorans under control and has a lair that's practically impossible to break into anyway. However, he no longer needs Pandorans now that he's created Ishtar, and while he's kept the project a secret, the fact that he's no longer using his powers to herd them into his lair means that Johannesburg's Pandoran population is rising now. Ishtar, on the other hand, is too afraid to attack Prometheans - she believes they're too strong for her, and she's more rational than any other praecipatus. She's realized she's going to need help if she's to escape Marcus forever. She watches Prometheans on the Gautrain, but she doesn't attack them, hoping that she can find a way to turn them against Marcus. This means, however, that she's running very low on Pyros - starvation is setting in, and human flesh won't keep her sated long.

Ishtar is a genius by Pandoran standards, but she's got no social skills whatsoever besides scaring folks and reading them, and she's extremely weak physically. She's fast, but not strong or tough, and she's quite possibly the weakest praecipatus there's ever been in a fight. Her ability to shoot webs and poison people is pretty much her big trick, along with her ability to maneuver in three dimensions. It is honestly fairly likely that Marcus is much stronger than she is.

Next time: Humans - Threat or Menace

Baku
Aug 20, 2005

by Fluffdaddy


Mors Rattus posted:

Ishtar's chief personality is cunning and good at reading people

If I looked like that, I'd rather be bad at reading people.

"Oh, uh... I'm sensing nausea and visceral terror again."

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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

Kurieg posted:

It could be that, it perhaps would have been good if it was that, but it's not. The issue is that beast rather clumsily welds itself to LGBTQ people as a metaphor for being born some way and not being able to control it. "I have to mind-rape people and it's not right for you to tell me I can't." It also casts Jocks and Conservatives as the main villains of the book while also stating that such people are actually systemically immoral and thus okay to kill, and that if they were moral they would accept Beasts for what they are and help them mind-rape people. Also the players guide completely gave the game away and introduced a splat of beasts who are cursed with urges to literally physically rape people, and states that they should be applauded for having the wherewithal and mental fortitude to go even one day without raping people, and not blamed for their actions if they give into their impulses.
I've heard people knock Changeling: The Dreaming as having been written by geeks with bad childhoods. Beast is like that, but the geek in question is an Anime Nazi.

JcDent posted:

I'd like a bullet-point list of the Gehenna scenarios!
Happy to oblige. For some necessary background: Gehenna kicks off when a Red Star appears in the sky that causes all vampires to get weaker and weaker and lose their powers, which sets off a frenzy of diablerie. Then, in most scenarios, the Antediluvians start waking up.

Wormwood: There's no escape from the Red Star. Kindred gradually die out except for a handful who are chosen by God. For 40 days and 40 nights they have to stay in the church and fight their own hunger. The faithful become human again, the wicked are smited, and that's how God ends the Curse of Caine. This was the scenario that most emphasized "personal horror" over intrigue and kewl vampyre powarz, and I believe it was Justin Achilli's favourite.

Fair is Foul: Lilith returns with her own team of Antediluvians to whip Caine's rear end. She's also adopted a little girl, for some reason, who gets involved with the PCs, for some reason. The little girl has prophetic visions, because she drank Lilith's blood, and because it's a very cliche plot device to get a group of characters to go where the script needs them to go. Anyway, Lilith is going to kick Caine's rear end, which will destroy all the vampires, so the PCs' best bet is to suck up to Lilith and be her good little minions. There are multiple opportunities to side with other Antediluvians against Lilith, all of which are suicide, not that you have any way of figuring that out.

Nightshade: The Tzimisce Antediluvian turns into a giant Thing-Blob-monster in the sewers of NYC, which blows the lid off the Masquerade. Jan Pieterzoon starts doing True Blood style damage control ("We're loyal American taxpayers with, uh, a blood disease...") and begins reforming the Camarilla into a new sect that can survive Gehenna and the end of the Masquerade. The PCs go on a world-spanning Tomb Raider style adventure to exotic locales and lost cities. The weakening of the blood is bad for them, but it also means they can fight Antediluvians they come across as boss monsters. If the PCs play their cards right, Saulot sacrifices himself for humankind, and the they're among the vampires who become human instead of just dying.

Crucible of God: Similar to Nightshade, but the Masquerade ends thanks to a cameraman catching the PCs doing something supernatural on tape. Again, the Camarilla scrambles to normalize vampirism and assimilate. This is all for nought, because the Antediluvians wake up and go hog wild. The world turns to poo poo as it becomes the battleground for the Antediluvians to play Fortnite, and passes through several "reigns" with one Antediluvian loving everything up until another emerges to eat them. This culminates in Tzimisce almost succeeding in turning every living thing into a Vicissitude monster, with Saulot once again hatching a plan to basically beg God to fix the loving mess He made. The possible endings range from "the Earth dies" to "your campaign is now a kickass post-apoc mutant hexcrawl, why didn't you just play Nightlife?"


Abrahamic Gods! No sense of right and wrong!

Halloween Jack fucked around with this message at 15:31 on Sep 19, 2019

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


Halloween Jack posted:

Gehenna stuff

... Now, obviously, it entirely depends on how they actually are are in play, but all of those aside from Lilith's Happy Fun Railroad Of gently caress You If You Go Off Script sound actually kinda fun?

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Night Horrors: The Tormented
Part 13: Queen of the Damned


True power means decapitation.

Anjali Khamari Ward has been the unofficial ruler of the Daughters of Ravana, AKA the Rakshasi, since its foundation in 1853, along with her friend Zoya and Zoya's lover Kandali. The three women, all wealthy widows, married British soldiers and moved to England...but all three also knew that when their husbands lost interest, they were at risk fo deportation and poverty. Anjali saved them by training them in rudimentary alchemy, taught to her by her mother. Using special mind-altering powders in their husbands' tea, they ensured the men were utterly devoted. For decades, they avoided notice by London society, with only a tiny few knowing that the Daughters existed at all. Secrecy allowed them to assist and support other Indian brides in similar positions, sometimes via potions and powders to control their husbands and sometimes by ensuring said husbands mysteriously vanished, leaving happier widows. Women were freed from abuse or unfaithful marriages and joined the group out of gratitude and a desire to protect others like themselves.

Zoya and Kandali left in 1870, leaving Anjali in charge of everything in the growing alchemical society. While Anjali began with good intentions of helping women trapped in bad situations, her position of power and growind addiction to longevity potions corrupted her. The final strike came when she ran into a Promethean. Fascinated by the creature and greedy for knowledge, Anjali and her followers captured and dissected the Promethean, growing ever more addicted to the lore they gained and the fluids they extracted. They renamed themselves the Rakshasi, and began to offer their services to a wider clientele. For a time, they dominated the London criminal underground as they grew less selective about what jobs they took and more interested in the payscale. At the height of their influence, they had nearly a hundred members and commanded a sizeable portion of London's criminal underworld. However, as the age of Victorian occultism ended, membership dwindled until only a few remained. Anjali was never able to rebuild her following to its former size, but she's never wanted to. She and her handful of loyal acolytes have made it through two World Wars and the turning of two centuries. These followers and the dividends on the wealth she amassed in the Victorian era are more than enough to fund her expeditions to capture all manner of creatures for her experiments.

Anjali is a beautiful Indian woman with dark eyes and long braided hair. She is always immaculate in her presentation and keeps track of fashion, buying only the finest clothes. She is intensely confident, and it shows. While is over 150 years old, her use of longevity and rejuvenation concoctions ensures she appears to be in her mid to late 20s. In public, she is always accompanied by her acolytes, who would give their lives to ensure she survives. Anjali is hard to impress but fond of exotic monster parts, and she's willing to deal with knowledge seekers or potential allies that show her respect. She has a vast amount of occult and esoteric lore thanks to being active so long, and she could provide solutions to any number of cold cases from 1850 onwards, as well as revealing plenty of blackmail or bribery of the period. She has vast amounts of information on all kinds of supernatural stuff going on in London, plus lots of alchemical lore.

In the years when there were more Rakshasi, Anjali directed her followers on frequent hunts of supernatural beings, and rumors of them remain in the community. These days, she can't afford to lose her membership as easily and is less interested in capturing most monsters, whom she's had decades to study. Prometheans and other especially rare beings are an exception. Anjali's only ever found one Promethean, and she would do anything to acquire another. The Rakshasi themselves are very dangerous. They don't enter confrontations unless they've planned them in advance, if at all possible, and typically use prepared powders and potions to temporarily enhance their physical capabilities greatly. Catching them unprepared greatly levels the field...except for Anjali herself. She's much more dangerous than any of her followers, as she has used permanent transmutations on her body to protect and heal herself, though she's still not invincible. "Queen" Anjali may also no longer have the reach she once did in London's criminal society, she's been living in the city for almost two centuries now. She's very well connected, particularly in the East End, and not much happens she doesn't hear about. She doesn't expect every monster in her neighborhood to pay tribute, but life gets easier for them if they do. Anjali makes a potent ally and a terrible foe.

Anjali is a genius, and near the peak human levels of mental and social ability. She's only above average physically, though she has a wide array of skills in a lot of fields. Of particular note are her occult lore, her crafting ability and her skill at finding and exploiting social and political weaknesses. She also has a ton of merits, mostly revolving around her social standing, followers and mystery cult - the Daughters of Ravana/Rakshasi. She is extremely rich, too. She typically carries quite a few alchemical distillations, focusing on those which boost her physical and mental abilities. Also, while she's not technically tougher than the average human, her skin and clothing are unnaturally armored to an extreme degree.

You can play a Daughter, since they get a Mystery Cult Initiation merit, too! They start out by learning monster lore and how to investigate monsters, then learn how to spot strangeness and deal with super gross poo poo, then how to scare people so they can bully them into doing what Anjali wants. From there, you become part of the inner circle and receive a permanent physical transmutation to your body, allowing you to gain free physical merits even if you don't qualify for them. At the top level, Anjali initiates you as a full starting alchemist and teaches you how to channel Pyros.


She's had a very bad year.

Kay Ayvar maintains a checklist of things she remembers about the night that changed her life. Her brother's name was Sonny. The Thing with Flashing Eyes took him. There was a symbol of two overlapping triangles scratched on a dumpster. It's not a lot, but it's what she has. Sonny shouted something about a dead body, and the Thing came out of the dumpster. All the streetlights blew out, and Kay felt sick. The Thing grabbed Sonny, looked at Kay with eyes like flashbulbs, and then vanished with the boy. She can't keep all the details straight. The Thing might have been big or slim or a man or a woman or neither or have long hair or short or no hair. The cops sent her to PTSD therapy and closed the case, so Kay swore she'd get her brother back herself. She's found a few monsters that are like the Thing she remembers, but none have had her brother, and when she sees the photos she takes of them, they look wrong. The Thing with Flashing Eyes is still out there. She's going to find it. Oh, and also Sonny.

If the things Kay remembers actually happened, what Sonny found was a dead Extempore in a dumpster. A Firestorm erupted in the parking lot as it came back to life, and it lashed out to protect itself in its confusion. Its use of Pyros allowed Kay to see its disfigurements and flooded her with Disquiet. The trauma of losing Sonny imprinted it on her mind, and she hasn't recovered. Worse, the Promethean's nature scrambled her memories of the event, and she's become an amplifier for Azothic spillage, making everything worse each time she runs into a Promethean. She's certain she wrote her checklist - it's in her handwriting, and she has a picture of the pilgrim mark. However, that doesn't mean the events happened the way she remembers them. It's possible the Extempore didn't take her brother at all, that Disquiet has Kay confusing it for a human kidnapper. Or maybe she found the Extempore and it took her, and she escaped and invented a rescue quest to feel like she was in control of her life. Or maybe it happened the way she says it did - but Sonny's not Sonny any more.

Kay pretends at confidence and having things together. She doesn't do small talk and thinks it's a sign someone's concealing something. She gets impatient quickly, and too many problems at once crack the mask, making her confusion and frustration come out. She knows anyone could be a monster, and that makes her intense. She is a Mexican woman in her early 20s with cropped black hair and a mask of false calm. She lives day to day, hunting Prometheans. She tells herself it's about finding Sonny, but what's really driving her at this point is getting proof that she didn't make it all up. She can't get over her trauma until she breaks past her Disquiet, and she's trapped in it. She remembers flashing eyes, but her confusion means she sees them in nearly every Promethean - LEDs in an Unfleshed, a Promethean using any powers that make them glow, an Ulgan manifesting spirit lights. Anything that could possibly be made to resemble flashing eyes becomes a reason for Kay to pursue the Promethean.

Kay's natural ability to exacerbate Disquiet and Wastelands makes her very dangerous. She has no idea she's doing it, but she knows it's not hard to turn people against Prometheans, and she uses tactics that get crowds backing her. Once she fixates on a target, she tries to get rid of them indirectly. Killing Prometheans is hard, and she sees herself as righteous and refuses to get her own hands dirty. She will never admit that anyone she hunts is innocent and will go out of her way to frame them for crimes, lie or provoke them into violence in order to raise angry mobs or get Hunters to help her. Kay does have some of the truth inside her head, but she can't access it without help of some kind - hypnosis or magic, say. She has stopped going to therapy for a very long time, and she will not start again, because the psychiatrists never believe her. Oh, and one of her victims? Not a Promethean. She found an angel and compromised its Cover enough that the God-Machine recalled it. Now, another angel is keeping tabs on her. It hasn't interfered with her mission yet, and she probably won't notice if it does. She already can't tell reality and her memories apart very well, so reality alterations are going to go entirely unnoticed.

In Kay's hometown, a homeless shelter (and trap) has been set up. See, the original Extempore in the dumpster was killed by local Hunters, and her crusade to get her brother back got their attention. They've offer to help her, feeling some responsibility for what happened, and so Kay spreads rumors of the homeless shelter being a safe place for Prometheans to hide, in the hopes that the Hunters running the shelter can then find the Thing and capture it for her. Kay also has a habit of submitting false reports of crimes to get Prometheans arrested, which leads to quite a few police stations in her wake suffering from Disquiet and Wastelands. Oh, and it's possible that Sonny was, in fact, a clone that Kay's father made from her DNA, fueled by the Azoth of the Extempore in the dumpster. If so, yes, he's...technically her brother, but she doesn't remember the whole cloning thing and would be unaware that the scientists involved want to get rid of her before she blows their entire operation.

Kay is a normal human being. She's strong-willed and manipulative, but otherwise not exceptional. She's gotten good at investigation, hacking, sneaking and doing crimes, but she can't fight well. She's very good at seeming harmless, though, and extremely hard to read. She's permanently stuck in stage four Disquiet, triggered by any Promethean she meets. Further, when she's nearby, all Prometheans are considered to have higher Azoth for purposes of Disquiet and Wastelands. Oh, and when her Disquiet gets bad enough, her mental static causes confusion, amnesia or even delusions in Prometheans near her.

Next time: The Engineer, the Mantis Pilgrim

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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

OvermanXAN posted:

... Now, obviously, it entirely depends on how they actually are are in play, but all of those aside from Lilith's Happy Fun Railroad Of gently caress You If You Go Off Script sound actually kinda fun?
Sure, I'm not trying to dunk on the book as a whole, I'm just giving you the very very short version. They can be fun depending on how your ST runs them, and how they employ and juggle the optional subplots.

Coming back to it years later, the most bleak and depressing one is Wormwood. God's a douche! And your only shot at survival is being a goody good little bitch! I guess it's Gothic-Punk in the sense that the universe is an unjust hierarchy from top to bottom, and you absolutely can't do anything about it besides sell out or die.

With all the other scenarios, they will be good or bad depending on how much the ST makes you stand around watching the Antediluvians do stuff, and if they make it so that your only chance is to play vampire errand boy.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Wait, in Wormwood, does everyone on earth die, or just the vampires?

Because if it's the latter that probably works out as a net positive for everybody else.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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

Just the vampires. All of the scenarios involve all the vampires either dying or becoming human again, ending vampirism forever (except some possible alternate endings).

In Wormwood, the Antediluvians don't play a meaningful role, and there's little collateral damage from all the vampires withering away and dying. In Fair is Foul, most of the action boils down to a Demigod Bumfight in an alley. (Yes, literally in an alley.) It's definitely a net positive for the world.

In Nightshade and Crucible, the end of Kindred is a Gotterdamerung that collapses global civilization and potentially ends all life on earth.

megane
Jun 20, 2008





"The fate of the entire world (and the climax of a multi-year campaign) rests on the GM rolling for two super-powerful NPCs to beat other up in an alley while the PCs watch" might be the most perfect crystallization of Nineties RPGs I've ever heard of.

e: or wait, is it that the GM pretends to roll for it, because the winner is already predetermined by metaplot? Because that might be even better.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


megane posted:

"The fate of the entire world (and the climax of a multi-year campaign) rests on the GM rolling for two super-powerful NPCs to beat other up in an alley while the PCs watch" might be the most perfect crystallization of Nineties RPGs I've ever heard of.

Even Torg at least let you roll to see if you make the Per test necessary to find the artifact of the Good NPC to beat the Bad NPC yourself.

Though 'Per test to continue adventure, even unto the end of days and the final conflict' is also an extreme level of 90s. Or rather bad adventure writing in general; Per Test To Continue Adventure is timeless, as WHFRP's published adventures from the 2000s can tell you.

Freaking Crumbum
Apr 17, 2003

Too fuck to drunk




i've seen snippets of geist lore pop up as people have done other write ups, but i was really bummed that there's not an entry for them in the archive. without having to trawl through a bunch of wiki pages, can somebody provide the gist of what geists are, what they do and how their lore is supposed to interact with the rest of the splats?

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


Do you guys want me to give a similar treatment to the Apocalypse scenarios?

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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

:justpost:

Night10194 posted:

'Per test to continue adventure, even unto the end of days and the final conflict' is also an extreme level of 90s.
Gehenna has this too. There are points in multiple scenarios where you have to make some roll not to go into a murderous frenzy, or to turn back into a human instead of turning to dust, or to survive the coterie getting caught in an explosion. These are often unfair and uneven (much depends on your Generation and the status of your Clan's founder). It's typically justified as hey, this is a grim and gritty game, unlife's not fair.

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Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Ah, yes, the deep horror mechanic of '20% chance not to die', my old foe.

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