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

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Post
  • Reply
Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


The really sad thing is there's also a really fun personalization/weapon mod system, but you can only do it to standard issue gear. So most players will barely interact with it because you can't do it to anything but the lasgun you threw back in your footlocker as soon as you made planetfall.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010




Lipstick Apathy



In my previous post, I talked a little bit about skills in RoleMaster. Let's expand on that now.

Skills have ranks, and the ranks translate into a bonus on your rolls, like so:



So, for example, let's say you're asked to make a Perception check by the GM.

Let's also say you have 16 Wisdom (I'll keep using D&D stats until I finally get around to talking about RM's stats), which translates to a bonus of +15.

And then, you also have 3 ranks in the Perception skill. Using that table above, this translates to a bonus of +15.

So, you'd roll [d100 + 15 + 15], and assuming a standard difficulty, you'd succeed on a result of 100 or higher.

That seems straightforward enough, and should be familiar to, say people who know of D&D 3rd Edition's skill system, where 1 rank is either +1 to the d20 roll if it's a class-skill, or +0.5 to the d20 roll if it's not.

However, you'll also notice that after rank 10, each skill rank only gives a character a +2 to the roll, instead of a +5. After rank 20, each skill rank only gives a character a +1 to the roll, instead of a +2.

This makes sense, because if the standard difficulty of a "check" is 100, and getting to rank 10 already provides a person with a +50, and they still have other bonuses besides, continuing to add +5's with succeeding ranks would make the 100 target more and more trivial to reach.

(in contrast, D&D 3rd Edition lets you keep adding +1's to your d20, which is equivalent to +5's on a d100, but then 3e does not have a standard DC, and the DM can simply keep cranking up DC's from 20 to 25 to 30, and so on)

___

The next aspect I'm going to talk about is how skill ranks are acquired.

Every time a character levels up, they earn Development Points. The amount of DP earned is controlled by a character's stats, but for the ease of discussion let's just go with a flat 35 DP per level (which is an actual alternative rule in RM to make for easier/more even character development)

Each skill rank costs a certain amount of DP, but also, the number of ranks of a particular skill that can be purchased on a level-up can vary between classes, and the cost of a rank can vary based on how many of them are purchased at any one time.

Allow me to explain with a snippet from the Character Development table:



Our class is the row, in this case the Fighter, and then the skill is the column, and the intersection is the cost of the skill.

* if the cost of the skill is one number, like "Runes: 7", as I've highlighted in green, then you can only buy one rank of that skill per level-up, and it will cost the number indicated, in this case 7 DP.

* if the cost of the skill is two numbers with a slash, like "Climbing: 3/7", as I've highlighted in red, then you can buy as many as two ranks in the skill per level-up. The first rank you purchase will cost the amount to the left of the slash, and the second rank you purchase will cost the amount to the right of the slash. In this case, 3 DP for the first rank, 7 DP for the second rank, or a total of 10 DP if you wanted to get two ranks in one go.

* if the cost of the skill is one number, followed by a slash and an asterisk, like "Plate: 2/*", as I've highlighted in blue, then you can buy as many ranks as you'd like/can afford, and the cost is the number. In this case, one rank of Plate costs 2 DP, so the player could spend 34 DP to get 17 ranks in one go, and they'd have 1 DP left over, though that would mean acquiring no other skills.

Sidebar: Armor skills posted:

If a character wears any armor heavier than Soft Leather (AT 6), they get a penalty to maneuvers, with the penalty increasing with heavier armor types - Plate AT 20 grants a maneuver penalty of -165. Learning ranks in the corresponding armor skill reduces the penalty by 5 per skill rank (and always by 5, ignoring the rank 10/20 rescaling of the regular skill rank table), to a certain minimum based on armor type.

You may recognize this as being similar to D&D 3rd Edition's Armor Check Penalty, but unlike 3e where the ACP is always present and can only be mitigated with magic and/or lighter-material armors, in RM, you can actually use skill ranks to mitigate against it.

Soft Leather AT6 carries a penalty of -20, and the penalty can be reduced to zero, so the penalty can be completely eliminated with just 4 ranks in the Soft Leather armor skill.

Reinforced Leather AT 8 carries a penalty of -50, and has a minimum penalty of -15, so a character would need 7 ranks in the Rigid Leather armor skill

Chain Mail AT 15 carries a penalty of -120, and has a minimum penalty of -25, so a character would need 19 ranks in Chain armor skill

Plate AT 20 carries a penalty of -165, and has a minimum penalty of -40, so a character would need 25 ranks in plate skill.

(there's actually a table of penalties for every single AT number in-between, but I just wanted to catch the highlights)

Going a little into the weeds here: since armor skills are effectively a fixed cost, but also since you can't/shouldn't max-out the Plate skill in one go, and you maybe don't want to go into combat with a heavy maneuver penalty either, there is an incentive to go into the lower-tier armors first, since their penalties can be reduced easier/more quickly, while you build-up the Plate skill, and only start wearing Plate once you're done.

For example, with 35 DP per level, and with the cheapest weapons skill at "1/5", and with another 4 DP being spent on Body Development for maximized Concussion Hits, you can only spare 25 DP for armor skills. Since Plate costs 2 DP per rank, that means you can only get 12 ranks per level-up, so you'd need at least two levels and change to get the 25 ranks needed to minimize plate's maneuver penalties. But you only need 7 ranks and 7 DP to reduce Rigid Leather's penalties to its minimum, so there's a case to made that you could do that first, and then only switch to wearing plate much later.

* and then, for weapons, there's that special section in yellow where you can shift-around/re-assign whichever weapon type gets the different skill costs, so you could give Pole Arms the "1/5" skill cost if you want to specialize in it, and then give "One-Handed Crushing" the "5" skill cost if you expect/want to ignore maces and clubs.

Let's see what the skill costs are like for the Rogue and Magician classes:



(I've blanked out all the other classes here for readability's sake)

From here, we can see that not only is it very expensive for the Magician to level up their weapons skills, they also can only get one rank per level-up, so a Fighter will almost always have more ranks in their preferred weapon than a Magician will. However, learning a spell list for a Magician only costs all of 1 DP per rank, and they can learn as many ranks as they want, so a Magician could potentially go all the way up to rank 30 in one spell list immediately and be set-for-life, only waiting to increase in character levels to learn the corresponding spells (though they'd still need to increase their Directed Spells skill for "bolt"-type attack spells).

A Rogue, on the other hand, can learn weapon ranks at the same pace of a Fighter, but it's more expensive for them to do. In exchange, their "General Skills" section is quite cheap.

This creates a dynamic where certain classes are pushed into particular niches/roles: some classes are never going to be as good as other classes at certain things, due to a combination of how relatively cheap or expensive some skills are, and a literal cap on how quickly they can learn skill ranks.

___

There's one more aspect left to discuss, and that's the Level Bonus Table:



Simply put, classes get a bonus to rolls on certain skills, or groups of skills, based on their level. A level 5 Fighter with 16 Strength and 4 ranks in a weapon skill would roll d100 + 15 from Strength + 15 from level bonus + 20 from skill ranks, for a total of [d100 + 50] (and they could shift all of that +50 to parry, if they'd like).

This creates further specialization/differentiation between classes, since even if a Rogue buys as many weapon skill ranks as a Fighter, and has the same Strength as a Fighter, the Fighter is still going to have more weapon skill/Offensive Bonus than them, with the gap widening as they increase in character level.

___

Finally, you might have noticed that I mentioned D&D 3rd Edition a number of times in this post, and that's entirely deliberate. Monte Cook worked on both that game, and on a line of Rolemaster books, and while I wouldn't have direct proof that the resulting systems in D&D 3e were inspired by RM, the resemblance is far too close to simply leave up to coincidence.

That said, one of my goals when writing this post was to illustrate that while there are similarities, the remaining differences also produce very different results, to the extent that I would describe RM's system as being more elegant and having hit its intended goals much closer than D&D 3e's did.

___

Up next: RoleMaster's actual stats

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

Night10194 posted:

Not so in 40kRP where even if you're a Marine, a 5d10+10 Lascannon is going to splat you.

This is almost certainly for some sort of tonal "you could die at any time AND THAT MAKES COMBAT MEANINGFUL AND THE SETTING PROPERLY GRIMDARK" reason. It's too deeply embedded in the system otherwise.

Friend Commuter
Nov 3, 2009
SO CLEVER I WANT TO FUCK MY OWN BRAIN.

Smellrose

Loxbourne posted:

This is almost certainly for some sort of tonal "you could die at any time AND THAT MAKES COMBAT MEANINGFUL AND THE SETTING PROPERLY GRIMDARK" reason. It's too deeply embedded in the system otherwise.

That and "well, that's how it works on the wargame, so that's how it should work in the RPG."

The Skeep
Sep 15, 2007

That Chicken sure loves to drum...sticks


the latest System Mastery covers Alma Mater a high school rpg by a author with the weirdest axe to grind I've ever seen.

GimpInBlack
Sep 27, 2012

That's right, kids, take lots of drugs, leave the universe behind, and pilot Enlightenment Voltron out into the cosmos to meet Alien Jesus.


Yggdrasil

Part One: When is a Viking not a Viking?

Leyla Khan will return, as promised, but I want to take a short break from spies vs. Draculas to talk about Vikings. Except not. Except kinda.

What the hell am I talking about? Yggdrasil is a game published by the French RPG studio Le Septiéme Cercle ("Seventh Circle") in 2009, <probably best known for Qin: The Warring States. An English-language version was released in 2012 by Cubicle 7, but the rights have since reverted to the original publisher. Cubicle 7 also translated and released three sourcebooks for the game: The Nine Worlds, detaining the Norse cosmology and its denizens, Kings of the Sea, about seafaring and travel, and Uppsala, about the capital city of the Swedes. Unfortunately, hard copies of the English versions are no longer available, and there are three additional adventures (Hrolf Króki Parts I and II and The Sons of Halfdan) that were never translated. It also has the distinction of being the only game in my shamefully large nerd library, as far as I know, to have a Catholic priest credited as a developer (Fr. Xavier Cuende, who was a proofreader on the book). So there's that.

Like Qin, Yggdrasil a historical fantasy game, but instead of being set in the Warring States period of China it's set in the 4th through 6th centuries of Scandinavia. Kind of. The introduction points out that there is precious little archaeological or historical data from this time period, and the best sources we have for Norse society and history are the Eddas and the Sagas, which a) are generally describing events 300-500 years after this period and b) were themselves written 200-300 years after the events they're describing and after the arrival of Christianity. The authors freely admit that they're more interested in making a heroic, action-packed game than a historically-accurate one, and have shamelessly filled in gaps in the record with elements from the entire span of Norse culture and with entirely original creations. I can respect that, and I'm not going to rag on them for inaccuracies (much), but I am going to use this review as a blatant excuse to ramble on about Norse society and history. Full disclosure: I am by no means an expert, just a general history nerd, so if we have any actual north European historian or archaeologist goons in the thread, feel free to jump in.

So, when is a Viking not a Viking? When they're the protagonist of a game that takes great pains to tell you that Vikings won't exist for another several centuries, but then bases most of its historical research on the Viking age itself. I joke, but I actually do like this game. The setting information is detailed enough to give a real sense of place and culture, the sections on geography and major NPCs are rife with gameable information and plot hooks, and the system is... well, generally nothing spectacular, but it keeps things light and fast-moving and has a few genuinely cool ideas. But we'll get to those a fair bit later--for now, let's explore Scandia, the land of the three kingdoms: Norway, Denmark, and Svithjod.

Wait, what the hell is Svithjod? Well, while "Norway" and "Denmark" are (Anglicizations of) words that were in use in this time period, "Sweden" comes to English from 17th-century Dutch. "Svithjod" was the Old Norse name for the land of the svear (Swedes, as in the Germanic tribe rather than the modern definition of "a person from Sweden). Well, if we're being really technical, it's "Svíţjóđ," but neither the book nor my keyboard have those extra Icelandic characters, so we'll be spelling it "Svithjod."

Anyways, that digression aside, after a snippet of passable introductory fiction and the obligatory "what is roleplaying?" section, the introduction wraps up with some key historical points that will be helpful for playing a Norse character. First, some common misconceptions:
  • These aren't Vikings. The term Viking means "pirate" or "raider," and even in what's commonly known as the "Viking Age" the term didn't refer to all Norse people--that didn't come until the 19th century. In fact, "Viking" probably didn't even mean exclusively Scandinavian pirates or raiders, it's just picked up that association because the people who were using it mostly encountered Norse Vikings. The book describes "Viking" as a "term of abuse," which... that's not a take I've heard anywhere else, and given that there are loads of runestones commemorating warriors who died while a-viking or are described as great Vikings, it's pretty clear the Norse, at least, didn't see it that way. In any case, Yggdrasil uses the terms Norse, Norsemen, or Scandians to refer to the people of Midgard.
  • The Norse didn't wear horned helmets. That's an invention of Wagnerian opera, based on misunderstandings of ceremonial headdresses from the Bronze Age. Similar horned headdresses were probably worn in this time period, but they were definitely not wargear.
  • Likewise, Norse warriors didn't drink from the skulls of their enemies. This myth probably results as a misunderstanding of a kenning, a kind of metaphor employed in Skaldic poetry that we'll talk more about later, in which warriors are described as drinking ale from "the curved branch of a skull," i.e. a horn.
  • Finally, the term "drakkar" for a Norse warship is also a 19th-century artifact. Dreki (plural "drakkar") means "dragon" and refers to the dragon carvings on the prows of ships, but the ships themselves weren't called by that name.
The next section is less pedantic, instead describing three concepts it's vital to understand to really "get" playing a Norse character. The first is Fate, which is apparently so important we're not even going to get a summary here (but briefly, so as not to keep you in suspense: Norse religion says that every person's moment of death is fixed at birth, and the only thing you can change about it is how it happens.) The second is mannhelg, which roughly translates as "personal inviolability" or individual rights of free people. Insults, violence, theft--these sorts of deeds are violations of one's mannhelg and must be redressed. We'll talk more about this when we get to Norse law and society, but this concept of personal rights and autonomy are very important to the Norse. Finally is the importance of family and clan: The Norse lands are a harsh place, and it's incredibly difficult to survive alone. One's relatives are important, not just for the warmth of human contact, but because they are the ones who will stand up for you in feuds, avenge you if you're unlawfully killed, and remember you when you're dead. Outlawry is quite literally a fate worse than death.

Next Time: I remember yet the giants of yore,
Who gave me bread in the days gone by;
Nine worlds I knew, the nine in the tree
With mighty roots beneath the mold.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Warhammer 40k Roleplay: Only War

Cower before me, Career System! For the Gods know my name and it is CLASS CHANGE!

So the career system in Only War is the single most breakable system in the game. It's like a very stupid version of WHFRP2e's Career system. It also renders certain classes absolutely hosed because they don't get access to class changing. Never play a Stormtrooper, a Commissar, and consider carefully before being a psyker; since they never got an advanced character book for their specialties, they can't class change. The Stormtrooper also just isn't that great already, nor is the Commissar. Play a Sergeant if you want to be an officer. Psykers are still Psykers, though the Only War Psykers are notably more limited and less able to totally dominate the field than something like a Librarian.

First, you select your starting Career: Weapon Specialist (Special Weapons character, usually using the Regiment's favored basic weapon), Heavy Weapons Trooper (You know them, you love them, the Autocannon/Multilaser/Lascannon God), Medic (In case someone doesn't die in one hit, stuck with lasgun until later, generally very smart), Operator (Drives the Tank. Do not take if you have no tank), Sergeant (Bard. Yells at people. Tough. Helps everyone) for Guardsmen, and then there are 'support specialists', the attached support personnel classes. These are Stormtrooper (Actually worse than the Weapon Spec at almost everything, can't Class Change, worst class in the game), the Angry Priest (Decent at melee, good at Fel and buffing, get bullshit awesome specialized gear in the add-on book), the Ogryn (Budget Space Marine, dumb, friendly, loves everyone, has a huge shotgun, can probably take 2 hits without dying), the Ratling (hobbit sniper, surprisingly good), the Psyker (YoU ReQueSTeD a PsYKEr myyyyyy LORD!?), the Commissar (Heal allies by shooting their expendable Comrade in one very specific situation, just play a Sergeant), and the Techpriest. In a normal Regiment, the Techpriest is very powerful but not quite as insanely bullshit. It is when you get a Skitarii Regiment that they become as Gods. Normally they are just very good at a lot of things, but they do have the weakness of only having one good stat aptitude pair. Tech Apt is very rare, though, and enables all the Cybernetics use talents. Cybernetics are very good.

Now, I could go into super detail about every class: They all give skills and talents, +5 to one stat, and a set of Aptitudes, generally with two of the 'secondary' important Apts and a smattering of Stat Apts (though some give 3 of the important secondaries, like Ratling getting Finesse, Fieldcraft, and Social). Very few give Defense. Only the Ogryn and Sergeant. This means most characters in Only War are paying higher prices for Dodge. You're going to buy Dodge or you're going to die. Also amusing: If an Ogryn has an extra Apt from Regiment Creation, despite being giant lumbering friendly ogres they can get good Dodge and become extremely nimble, which makes me think of a linebacker doing ballet to train but more and carrying a double-barrelled 37mm autocannon to go with their tutu.

I am not going to. Most of them do the thing they say they do. What's important is that only the Enginseer and Medic (the nerds) are generally stuck with their lasgun/standard weapon initially. You will want to get them a better weapon as soon as possible, either by your regiment being issued one or by stealing it or whatever. The Weapon Spec gets the Regimental Basic (They also have the option to take 'a Good quality lasgun' instead. All Good does is add Reliable. Lasguns are already Reliable. This does nothing), the Heavy gets a variety of weaker generic Heavy Weapons or the Regimental Heavy (This is also why you never select Missile Launcher or Heavy Flamer; I forgot with the Kadeshii. The Heavy can already take a Heavy Flamer without it being the Regimental Option). The Sergeant gets a chainsword, as does the Priest and Commissar (who also gets a bolt pistol). You should only have an Operator if you have a tank or walker for them to Operate. If you don't, just take an Enginseer. Consider doing that anyway. The Ogryn gets a super auto-shotgun, the Ratling gets a fine sniper rifle. The Psyker has a lasgun but c'mon. You have mind bullets. Use your mind bullets. The Stormtrooper gets slightly better armor (unless you're like, the Wark-Knights, they actually have armor superior to the Stormy) and a Hot Shot Lasgun (d10+4 Pen7, still semiauto only tho). This is part of why the lasgun goes in the bin: The only two specialties stuck with it at start are the nerds, and one will shortly transcend this world of flesh and become an EYE Divine Cybermancy character (if you wanted, you could start with a d10+10 Pen4 power-claw cybernetic and a jet pack!) and the other is here to heal people (assuming they survive).

What snaps the system over your knee is not your initial class. Your initial class will be siloed but fairly competent at what it does. Weapon Specs, for instance, are good light infantry. Stealthy, quick, dodgy and precise, with a good extra weapon. You can also buy abilities that are powered by your Comrade, specific to your class. As your Comrade is going to get reduced to paste automatically the first time your unit is placed under any kind of AoE fire, these are not to be relied on. We'll loving get to Comrades, they're one of the most ludicrous examples I can give of trying to super-streamline something making it much more complicated and awkward. No, what will do for you is the ability to CLASS CHANGE. Every 2500 EXP (at an average rate of 500 per session) you can swap to a new class. Either becoming a new kind of Guardsman or an Advanced Guardsman. Some Support Specialists (all but Psyker, Commissar, and Stormtrooper) can do the same, but they're much more restrictive. Doing so lets you keep everything you had previously, though you get issued new gear and your old gear (minus any cybernetics, you keep those. They don't just rip your arm out and demand you return it since you no longer qualify for it under the bureaucracy) is returned to the depot. You also (and this is key) swap your Aptitudes to the new class, and if it was an Advanced Class, you get some free Talents for entering. You also keep any class specific bonuses you purchased, like Comrade advances!

Oh, or you can just take +5 to one stat. This does let you break stat caps, and is the only option for 3 of the classes, so it could be worth considering, but trust me, jumping around to maximize EXP efficiency is much more powerful.

For an example: I was playing a Rogue Trader's far-off relative sent to join a highborn 'regiment' that was meant more as a finishing school, before their luxury transports got attacked by pirates with a couple CSMs as their lords and they ended up being forced by damage to disembark into an active warzone. My PC started with Weapon Spec, being a grenadier. Then on the surface, swapped to Heavy and became an Autocannon user. By this point, I had bought all the best Talents a Weapon Spec had access to, and suddenly getting the Offense Aptitude so I could buff up Strength and get Bulging Biceps and wield an Autocannon like a rifle made that character insanely strong at only like 3500 EXP. Only a little way past the intro arc. You ramp up super quickly in this game, and this allows you to turbo-charge it. That isn't even getting into the Advanced specializations that unlock stuff like turbo melee powers, being swarmed by extra Comrades to buff you and to send to allies to buff them further, having swarms of Servitors, being the master of all explosions, master of quiet stabbing, etc etc.

There's an entire class for 'I SUMMON ARTILLERY STRIKE' like you were an EDF Air Raider.

Class Change is also why that innocuous sentence about 'Lathe Worlds Regiment characters count as both Guardsmen and Techpriests' is so powerful. Same for the Ratling and Ogryn Worlds. It means you can take an Ogryn or Ratling or Techpriest into the base Guardsman Careers. Or transfer out of those into the specialized careers for those guys, OR any of the Guardsman Advanced Specialties if you wish. The possibilities for completely snapping things are endless. If you like silly character optimization, you may have fun making yourself into a hellfucker of a soldier to match an EDF character. The problem is you'll still fall apart like tissue paper if you take a heavy weapon hit. But hopefully your Dodge will be good enough that you can hack it.

Note you don't instantly get all the Skills and Talents if you swap into a new Basic. Only a new Advanced. Still, class change to the max and leave the Commissar at home. Also leave the Commissar at home because they A: Aren't very good and the Sergeant and Priest are both more useful leaders anyway and B: Back when I used to read FFG's message boards, you would not believe how many problems giving 40k nerds playable Commissars caused. Well, you probably will: Giving one player a 'it's what my character would do' option of 'shoot someone else's powerup buddy/shoot at someone else's character' is a good way to cause problems. Also, the Commissar class cannot accurately be used to simulate being Caiaphas Cain, so what use is it? They don't even get Comrades, so you can't have Jurgen and his melta to save you. What kind of bullshit is this?

It's weird. The Career system is at once too restrictive (you're heavily incentivized to only buy what you're good at unless it's totally essential like 'dodge so I don't die') but also too loose, because Class Changing takes all the intended brakes off of character advancement since you can just wait a couple sessions, promote into something new, and then buy the stuff you wanted cheaply. By 7500 or 10000 EXP a well built PC should be killing squads of space marines or destroying hundreds of giant insects and taking down entire city blocks until one rear end in a top hat gold ant gets through and one-shots you. OW really is like all the worst parts of playing EDF on Inferno.

Also, I intend to make an example PC: Which of the Regiments should I use? Wark-Knights or Redshirts? I think they're the two that would be best suited to showing off an example PC since they're both the most reliant on the normal PC rather than a vehicle like the Orkaboos and also I just want to write one of either and can't decide which.

(A Correction: Heavies also get Defense to go with Offense.)

Next Time: More on Characters

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 14:01 on May 20, 2020

Servetus
Apr 1, 2010


Wark-Knights!

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Our example PC is going to be considerably more involved than usual, too. I'll be taking them through multiple class changes and explaining what I do while I do it, both to show off the Talents/Tier system and to show off how insanely strong that eventually makes said character. I think that will be both easier and more fun as a way to show off how nutty this is.

Ratoslov
Feb 15, 2012

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



Corporal Ardbert the Wark-Knight!

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Also because the two weapons are so essential to their people, I decided to do up a Variant Pattern for the Phaser Pistol and the birb-knight Chainsword.

The Golden Eagle Chainsaber gained Razor Sharp (penetrates more armor on good attack rolls) and Dense (Can't be cut in half when parrying Power weapons), while being Rare (Serious penalty to get new ones if you lose yours). It's made of the same magnificent sci-fantasy golden ore as their armor and is just a totally excellent chainsword model. Actually kind of similar to the Eldar ones from Rogue Trader. They're also probably curved and decorated so they look a little like a wing and the teeth seem a bit like feathers. Someone who can wield two of them looks like they're chainsawing their way through their enemies on wings of golden Imperial justice.

The Phaser Pistol has High Impact (+2 Damage when Aimed before firing, which is awesome) and Crippling Munitions (Enemies struck take Crippled (2), losing 2 Wounds without reduction any time they take more than a half action until they get treatment). It is, however, Delicate and breaks on a 1 on d10 whenever it jams, needing several minutes to fix. Being a Reliable lasweapon, this is unlikely. It uses tech the Techpriests might grumble about and can be hard to keep working, but the Garage Door Opener From Hell hits like a truck and kind of makes people start to vaporize/destabilize until they get help if they push themselves.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 15:27 on May 20, 2020

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017



The Skeep posted:

the latest System Mastery covers Alma Mater a high school rpg by a author with the weirdest axe to grind I've ever seen.

I've never seen anybody so personally and violently offended by Booger from Revenge of the Nerds.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Warhammer 40k Roleplay: Only War

Space Knights

So, we're making a bird knight. Dame-Corporal Lillith Ardbert, warrior of wing and chainsaw, is going to be a melee character focused on chainsawing the poo poo out of people. This is not as effective as other builds, but it is hilarious, and good enough. And if I was going for full ultimate power here I'd be making one of the Optimizers; I want to show off how even a character who isn't fully optimized and who is built to concept can still become a small god through the class change system.

First, she begins the terrifying process of making her initial dice rolls. Only War characters continue the long Hams Human tradition of 2d10+Base 20. She could also use the 'add 100 points to stats, no more than 20 in each stat, each stat base 20' option, but tradition is very important to bird people. Plus, since Weapon Skill is the first roll, I will be blatantly rerolling her set (which you can always do, of course) until she starts with a good WS. Let it never be said I am not transparent in my desire for a kickass chainsaw knight. Her rolls are 17, 9, 15, 16, 9, 9, 6, 14, 16. I elect to reroll the 29 Agility, thinking on how I miss Shallya's Mercy. RAW, if she rolls worse, it goes down. Thankfully, she gets a 15. Lillith is awesome.

Adding her modifiers for being a noble bird-soldier of Akkatan, she gets +3 WS, +3 Str, +3 Agility, and -3 BS. So she's WS 40, BS 26, Str 38, Tough 36, Agi 38, Int 29, Per 26 (I actually forgot Per was a stat and had to go back and roll it in. I despise Per), WP 34, Fel 36. She is not the brightest of all soldiers, and is a little oblivious, but she is very strong and very skilled with sword and lance. She is also a completely terrible shot to the point of being dangerous to others. She probably needs glasses, but this is 40k, and visiting an optometrist is very likely to have your eyes scooped out so someone can put them on one of those creepy flying babies and people can nod and say how grim that is.

She starts out as a Weapon Specialist. This is for reasons that will become clear. Hilariously, this also means some idiot issued the woman who absolutely cannot shoot a sniper rifle she does not even know how to use (lacks the SP Prof). As a Weapon Specialist, she starts with the Duelist/Champion ability all her people know, as well as Low Tech Weapons (for her exploder lances), Chain Weapons (for her chainsword) and oh, fine, she knows SP I *guess* (For her Sniper Rifle). She does not actually know how to fire her issued pistol. She has never figured out the little gubbins on the laspistol, it is simply part of her uniform and she will not part with it. She has Athletics, Survival+10 (it's her riding skill, so presented with +10 Athletics or Survival the choice was obvious), Common Lore (Guard and War) and Navigate (Surface). She also gets +5 to Weapon Skill OR Ballistic Skill, and she is not throwing good after bad so takes +5 WS. She begins play with Aptitude in Agility, BS, WS, Fellowship, Fieldcraft (sneaking, dishonor), Finesse (This will be money), and because she already had WS from her Regiment, she gets Str. It won't really help at moment; she's going to wait for later to pump her Str.

The annoying thing is Parrying is a skill now. A skill you have to pump up, instead of 'the thing everyone knows how to do'. I hate this, as it's going to throw her build off. Choosing between Parry and Dodge is frustrating: On one hand, Parry is great because she has the whole 'Duelist' thing, her Chainsword is Balanced for +10 to Parries, and the same stat helps her do more damage and hit more often. On the other, you cannot Parry bullets, and her greatest enemy is the rear end in a top hat with a lascannon waiting to vaporize her. Then I realize something: When she is Mounted, she Dodges via her bird. As long as she is on the bird, she is making Agility+10 (+10 for her skill, too, so more like Agility+20) tests. As the bird also has Unnatural Agility, these get an extra DoS: Important to evading more bullets when someone uses a multilaser or other rapid fire weapon. I swap her Str aptitude for Perception, since it's the necessary skill to make Survival go up faster. She will also be picking up Parry but for now, she can rely on her bird. Hooray, I found a use for the extra Aptitude!

She also has 12 Wounds, and 2 Fate. I should note all this information is not well organized; you have to flip constantly between the cost tables, the Skills chapter, the character creation chapter, 30 pages ahead to see the table for Fate rolls, etc etc. It is making this take considerably more time than it should. She gets 600 EXP and a Comrade to start. She buys her Agility up for 100 (to 43), then buys Swift Attack (letting her multi-attack in melee, as if semi-auto firing a gun) for 300 and Parry for 200 (eating a little extra cost there, but eh). She'll want Lightning Attack, TWF (Melee), Ambidextrous, and Blade Dancer as soon as possible; her goal is to be able to use twin weapons and just bury the enemy in melee attacks, especially in a one on one where Duelist applies. Part of the issue with melee as a style is A: You must get to the enemy, though the Ibijau solves this neatly, B: You needed at least 700 EXP worth of talents to be able to 'full auto' your melee attacks, when a gun could just do that off the bat without worrying about A, and C: You probably want to use Two Weapon Fighter for maximum chainsaw, but that requires its own feat tree. A heavy weapons character, by contrast, just needs to get to 45 Str, grab Bulging Biceps, and they're set. They can also make due without it since they can just spend the time bracing their gun. She is going to be throwing a lot of effort into killing people with chainsaws only to be somewhat underwhelming next to a person who put all those points into 'kill people with big gun' because the big gun has more stuff built right into it and does more damage anyway. Silly bird knight!

We'll be advancing her further as we go into more of the rules. First we have to introduce Comrades, talk more about Talents and Skills, and talk a little about combat so that all of what's about to happen with the dizzying about of CharOp BS I'm going to have to do will make any goddamn sense. Just know this would have been simpler if she had a multilaser, but also less cool.

I should also add: Every time I look at Only War's bullshit tables and have to flip through the cost tables and look up individual Talents for their Aptitude Matching again, it reminds me of why OW is the game that made me start thinking the 'everything just costs 100 and is about opportunity cost and access' in earlier WHFRP was secretly brilliant. Because goddamn do I prefer it to this nonsense and it actually made branching characters out a bunch easier.

Next Time: Expendables

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 16:37 on May 20, 2020

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

Night10194 posted:

you would not believe how many problems giving 40k nerds playable Commissars caused. Well, you probably will: Giving one player a 'it's what my character would do' option of 'shoot someone else's powerup buddy/shoot at someone else's character' is a good way to cause problems. Also, the Commissar class cannot accurately be used to simulate being Caiaphas Cain, so what use is it? They don't even get Comrades, so you can't have Jurgen and his melta to save you. What kind of bullshit is this?

This poo poo needs to be illuminated, and then stomped on very hard. FFG should never ever have put playable loving 40K Commissars in the game, let alone give them "shoot the players' buddies for buffs" powers. "Are there playable commissars?" was my very first question to the college buddy who explained Only War to me and his answer ensured I would never, ever touch the game.

The "very specific example" Night mentioned is in fact "when a PC hits zero hitpoints, the commissar shoots their comrade to give them some HP back". The whole idea of the comrade system is presented to players as "they're your mates, people who you know and survived horrible things alongside, you save their rear end and they'll save yours, they are important to you"...except to the guy playing commissar, who can kill them for healz.

Oh and not only does the class specifically inspire terror in PCs, they're seen as a "blessing" so the PCs can't complain about it. They're not even the "actually have lots of other jobs, kinda resemble the political/education officers from the WW2 Red Army they're based on, take their duties to their men's morale and welfare very seriously" commissars seen in the blasted 40K novels. No, Only War's commissar class seems to be entirely built from the ground up for the very worst kind of abusive roleplayers at the table, ones who see the game as an excuse to order people around.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


This is specifically why I call them out as a bad addition. The other fact being that they're actually terrible mechanically so you'd have done way more good for your unit just playing a Sergeant if you want to be a leader. The lack of all the other roles for a political officer in their class is also why I call them out as being unable to be Cain, which is a very important role for a Commissar you play in a group. Because that was always the secret to Cain's success: He was actually really good at keeping morale up, bailing troops out of the dumb poo poo they got into with local law enforcement without causing problems, liaising with other regiments, and advising his commanders. He was a really good Commissar! Who basically never shot anyone. That is not how the OW Commissar be. Also, that 'shoot their buddy to heal them' situation is almost never going to come up, because being at 0 Wounds and not being dead is, uh. That's a bit of a specific situation that doesn't happen often.

Also, Comrades may be 'these are your buddies' but what they really are is 'does the enemy have any kind of AoE weapon? lol paste'.

E: Oh, also, Commissar has the worst class picture of any of the classes. Everyone else's art is pretty great, and women in the art are almost always wearing the normal uniform of their Regiment. The Catachan Heavy Trooper is in a tank-top, sure, but so are all Catachans and she's buff as hell like the rest of them; she just looks like any other Catachan. The Commissar is a lady with a low-cut uniform showing off her cleavage and some kind of weird sneer that makes her look like she's sneezing while she vaguely points at the camera with a power fist. It's terrible.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 16:50 on May 20, 2020

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

If you will not serve in combat, you will serve on the firing line!




Commissars is an archetype you can play in Wrath & Glory as well, a third tier one so pretty high up on the power scale. But their archetype ability is essentially being a massive badass to make any allies deal with resolve rolls better and giving you better dice in being really intimidating. There is a mention of executing cowards but it also highlights the fact that a commissar is leading by example and diving headlong into combat to bolster the ones around them.
Which is frankly a far better way of doing them instead of the usual cliché of a trigger happy nut in a long coat.

Also I think the art for it has a female commissar but its surprisingly unisex in its depiction because most of the face is covered by their hat and they've got a breastplate.

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


Also it's hilarious that Commissars can't class change when they have Dan Abnett doing fluff for these books and one of his 40k novel series is about what is essentially a class changed Commissar!

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017



OvermanXAN posted:

Also it's hilarious that Commissars can't class change when they have Dan Abnett doing fluff for these books and one of his 40k novel series is about what is essentially a class changed Commissar!

It doesn't get talked about much these days but I believe that stemmed from Abnett not quite getting what Commissars in 40k were, or so I've always heard. (There were other bits he gets wrong about 40k fluff in the beginning to, which is sure to anger the right type of fan beyond reason.)

Tibalt
May 14, 2017

What, drawn, and talk of peace! I hate the word, As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee


Didn't his books have a footnote or something from the fictional editor of his autobiography that implies that the Emperor died/returned to life like 5 years after the 'current' time period of the wargame?

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


I think there was an intention to do 3 class books: Normal Guardsmen, Priests/Techpriests and Hobbits/Ogres, and then Weirdos, but they never got to the Weirdos book because I think 40kRP was running out of steam at this point and it was back when GW was teetering on the edge of being on fire all the time and FFG was pretty obviously getting sick of working on the line.

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

If you will not serve in combat, you will serve on the firing line!




And probably sick of GW's demands too I imagine. From what I heard GW tried to pull something during re-negotiations after FFG got acquired by Asmodee that they went gently caress that and ended the partnership.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Another thing I should note: It takes a long-rear end time to make characters for this game between making a Regiment, picking out a ton of options, etc. I can make a 3rd tier advanced PC in WHFRP in the time it takes me to make and write up a newbie scrub here.

Which is another major argument against playing this game high lethality.

ChaseSP
Mar 25, 2013




I figure the assumption for a high lethality game would be to focus more on the regiment of troops than individual soldiers so you just quickly roll up the soldier stats and you're good.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


There is no way to do that, though. Every character takes a fairly long character creation process.

E: Some of it is a matter of familiarity I admit; I am ridiculously familiar with WHFRP2e by this point and while I know this system reasonably well, I only ran/attempted to run a few OW games and played in one before I gave up on it. But some of it is organization. You have to jump all over the drat book for the charts, cost tables, lists of Talent apts to match, etc.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 18:47 on May 20, 2020

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

If you will not serve in combat, you will serve on the firing line!




I was considering doing a writeup on Mutant 2089 (even got the intro post written) but I probably should just do W&G instead.
Although that might wait for another week or so, wanna try playing the game first.

MonsterEnvy
Feb 4, 2012

Truly Cursed


Cooked Auto posted:

I was considering doing a writeup on Mutant 2089 (even got the intro post written) but I probably should just do W&G instead.
Although that might wait for another week or so, wanna try playing the game first.

Also it's errata is due any day now. Unless you plan on doing the original version.

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

The Skeep posted:

the latest System Mastery covers Alma Mater a high school rpg by a author with the weirdest axe to grind I've ever seen.

God, I remember the shitstorm that happened when that was being sold at Gencon. People went loving ballistic about the art.

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

If you will not serve in combat, you will serve on the firing line!




MonsterEnvy posted:

Also it's errata is due any day now. Unless you plan on doing the original version.

That is also true yes.

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



Will Dame Lilith have to steal a second warksaber from a handy corpse?

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


The Lone Badger posted:

Will Dame Lilith have to steal a second warksaber from a handy corpse?

She gets a second one once she's far enough into her careers; the Brawler gets an extra Good quality Chainsword, and she'll be in Brawler when she's ready to really turbo-charge her melee.

E: Part of why I'm doing her is to show off the sheer amount of BS she has to do to be anywhere near as powerful as someone who just has a big gun. Or who decided to play a tank driver. Tanks/APCs are their own serious problem for the system.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 19:59 on May 20, 2020

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

Cooked Auto posted:

And probably sick of GW's demands too I imagine. From what I heard GW tried to pull something during re-negotiations after FFG got acquired by Asmodee that they went gently caress that and ended the partnership.

If this is true (and it hasn't been verified to my knowledge), GW supposedly demanded that FFG halt development of their own fantasy tabletop game (the short-lived Runewars), as a potential competitor. FFG shrugged and went with the Star Wars licence instead. Take this with whatever sized grain of salt feels appropriate.

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

If you will not serve in combat, you will serve on the firing line!




Loxbourne posted:

If this is true (and it hasn't been verified to my knowledge), GW supposedly demanded that FFG halt development of their own fantasy tabletop game (the short-lived Runewars), as a potential competitor. FFG shrugged and went with the Star Wars licence instead. Take this with whatever sized grain of salt feels appropriate.

Yeah that checks up with what I remember hearing about it as well.
Feels like FFG could've just halted that thing anyway and stuck with Star Wars. What I saw of it was not good.

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





Humbug Scoolbus posted:

God, I remember the shitstorm that happened when that was being sold at Gencon. People went loving ballistic about the art.

Well, yeah. Sex, drugs, violence, the occult, teenagers... Not a great game, but it's a hell of a package - Erol Otus did the art and it's some of his best.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


When it came up earlier that characters could start with a baneblade, for one shining moment my mind jumped to "but of course they wouldn't stat that whole thing out, and it would just be a power you got to call on from time to time."

But no, this is 40kRPG. Of course tanks and APCs are a problem for the system. Space marines are a problem for the system, and they're the most popular thing in the setting.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Giving players an APC is a problem because they only get the one APC, it has a powerful attached heavy weapon, and it has so much armor that anything that will hurt it will instantly splat a PC, and there's nothing stopping enemies firing those things at PCs. So every encounter in a campaign that has an APC or tank is either going to have to not have that weapon available, be able to kill it (and thus able to one-shot everything the players have), or the players will be invincible and watch the vehicle do everything. Also giving players a full tank like a Russ or Baneblade leads to the Rogue Trader problem where you have one playing piece played by an entire group of players, which is dull as hell.

I solved this in Norwegians vs. the Death Robots by just giving AT weapons massive Armor Penetration but not massive actual damage. It worked pretty well. Oh, and liberal use of the Krak special rule, whereby an AT weapon causes a minor crit to a vehicle on a 9+ instead of a 10+ on damage. Almost everything in 40kRP can be fixed by massively toning down the pure, raw damage the weaponry does, using abilities and things to counter the various sources of DR, etc etc. And also making Pen either fairly rare, or putting high Pen on weapons with middling damage and specifically making them for countering heavy armor with light other DR and/or vehicles.

E: They not only statted the Baneblade out, they also statted out variants like the Shadowsword, the anti-titan hyper-tank. As if this was a thing PCs would actually need/use regularly, and could start the game with. Note there are no rules for Titans, unless you look back to Deathwatch, where there is an incredibly-unable-to-be-contained-within-the-system Titan.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 22:12 on May 20, 2020

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Soulbound
We Know Nothing Of The Land Of Ice And Snow

Cotha is the frozen land, the land that burns cold. In the Age of Myth, it was home to tribes that fished the shorelines and went out to hunt immense whales using spears carved from unmelting ice. Unfortunately, the Age of Chaos never truly ended in Cotha. Most of the surviving tribes united as the Valrhaf, who worship Khorne as the Ice Reaver and hunt with harpoons of frozen blood which easily pierce armor. The center of Cotha is home to the Ice Maw, a massive corrupted realmgate that Nurgle used to invade Aqshy from part of his holdings in Ghyran. Between the Valrhaf and the Nurglites that control the Ice Maw, the forces of Order have made no inroads into Cotha yet and know little of what goes on there. Persistent rumors in the Free Cities suggest that Alarielle and Sigmar plan to change that soon.



The Eastern Parch beyond the Adamantine Chain has no special name - no one has ever agreed on one. It is the current frontier, home to many Chaos followers and dangerous beasts despite the best efforts of the forces of Order. A few settlements exist there, hoping to reclaim and build up the land, but it's very dangerous compared to the lands in the west. Its largest city isn't even an Order one: Chakrik's Folly, the main Skaven undercity of Aqshy. That it exists is a testament to the Warlock-Engineer Chakrik of Skryre, who discovered a set of caverns near the Adamantines full of volatile warpstone deposits. He devised what he assured his fellows was an ingenious set of tectonic engines that would harness the warpstone and make the area stable and safe from the many earthquakes that plagued it. They...mostly worked, kind of, but one of them exploded and killed Chakrik.

While the other Aqshy Skaven leaders rushed in to take credit for the city, their infighting was too much to decide on a name that any of them wanted, so they agreed on the one they disliked least - naming it for Chakrik, who was dead and therefore couldn't outshine them. The tectonic engines do keep the place stable enough that the undercity remains going, but the area remains unstable. Small earthquakes are no problem, but thousands of Skaven die in the larger ones; the Skaven leaders don't care, because the dangerous parts of the city are largely inhabited by expendable slaves and clanrats, and the quakes open new warpstone veins. Every major clan of the Skaven and several smaller clans have land in Chakrik's Folly, and it is always full of their plots. The clans that have no holdings there and live in the Adamantines frequently request their aid, as the growing Dispossessed presence in the mountains has been ruining their lives and forcing them fight for control of their caves.

Hel Crown is a fortress-city of Khorne, built in the dormant caldera of an ancient volcano. It is a staging ground for constant raids on nearby cities and nations, bringing in skulls and meat. The Stormcast have never been able to take Hel Crown, despite their best efforts, thanks to the sentient lava flows and living gargoyles that defend it and burn hot enough within to melt Sigmarite. Khrone greatly values the corrupted realmgate at its heart - the Broken Jewel, floating over a magma vent. It brings in reinforcements to help fight off Stormcast assaults - but it also closes at random points with no warning, which drops anyone trying to use it into the lava below rather than Khorne's home in the Realm of Chaos.

The strongest bastion of Order in the Eastern Parch is the Reclaimed Demesnes, the settlements built in the lands seized by Sigmar's Tempest. They serve as the outer frontier of Order-controlled land, hundreds of minor settlements far from the cities and merchants of the central Parch. What trade they receive is largely ships coming from Anvilgard, though rumor has it a few hidden realmgates also bring in much-needed supplies. Most of the settlements survive with the barest of margins and have only limited defenses against attack of any kind. The Candescant Raiders of the north frequently hunt for prey here, while the Blades of the Blood Queen come in from the south to take victims for their blood rites. Fortunately, the folk settled in these towns are strong and faithful. Many are former soldiers or warriors who have taken up farming, meaning the limited static defenses are less of a problem than they otherwise would be. Most are natives to Aqshy rather than Azyrite colonists.

The Stain is one of the biggest lakes on the Parch...but it's not a usable one, as it's full of sulfur and other chemicals flowing from the ground. Whatever name it once held before is long lost, and its new one dates back to a battle almost a century ago between a small group of Celestial Vindicators and a large army of Khornites. The Stormcast calle din their allies for an immense ambush, and the week-long battle slew most of its particapants - nearly thirty full warrior chambers of Stormcast, massive numbers of Khornite Bloodbound, a full legion of Bloodletters and four Bloodthirsters. The blood of so many daemons permanently altered the lake, changing it to a deep red. Thus it is the Stain, and the power of the daemonic blood in its waters is said to empower the Candescant Raiders with an inner fire that makes them immune to heat.



The Flamescar Plateau is a huge highland of nomads and ancient ruins. It ranges from steppes to deserts to volcanic valleys. It was, at one point, the heart of the Agloraxi Empire, though the nomadic tribes were always allowed to do as they liked as long as tribute was paid; the Agloraxi saw them as little more than primitive insects to ignore. The remains of the sprawling boroughs of Ahramentia can now be found all across the plateau, including the broken remnants of the crystal towers that once comprised the Prismatikon. The Flamescar tribes, these days, are more known for being quick to anger, fierce in battle and slow to forgive. There are more that survived the Age of Chaos intact here than in any other part of the Parch, for the nomads were used to battle and hardship. They relied on hit-and-fade attacks rather than open battle, infuriating the Khornites, and they were quick supporters of the Blazing Crusade that took back much of the plateau. However, many see the Azyrites as just new invaders, little different than the Chaos or undead forces that also beset them. While nominally allied to Sigmar, the tribes are not welcoming of strangers, especially with the Goretride tribes still traveling the area as well.

Edassa is an ancient city, once the largest and greatest of the Parch's cities in the Age of Myth. It sits on the Great ASh Road, a sooty line said to have been carved into the land by Grimnir through Vulcatrix, and the natural ease of travel along it made Edassa central to trade in the region. It is growing once more as trade resumes, fueling the construction of nearby Anvalor. Edassa has no realmgate, but it is cosmopolitan and wealthy city whose university is said to date back to the Age of Myth, whose wells run deep and clear, and whose colosseum, the Red Sands, is the greatest in Aqshy.

The people take the Flamescar Lion as their symbol, and many natives of the area revere it as a divine messanger and holy animal. This faith has blended with Sigmar's, and Sigmar is usually worshipped in a lion-headed aspect in Edassa, with the local sect seeing him as aggressive, territorial and highly Aqshian. The Lionesses are the elite soldiers of the city, and to become one, you have to kill a Flamescar Lion in single combat. Almost all of the Lionesses are women, and they go into battle carrying greatswords and wearing lion pelts as cloaks. The rulers of Edassa trace their lineage back to Kyukain Hammer-Friend, a mortal general that led the army that liberated Edassa from Khorne's forces. The current queen, Karine, is very old, though, and her son and sole heir, Prince Jordain, vanished years ago. Queen Karine has promised an immense amount of money to anyone that can tell her what happened to her son, and the upcoming succession crisis has become an opportunity for local Tzteentchian cults, which seek to corrupt the city and take control of it in the chaos they predict after Karine's death.

Anvilgard sits on the northern plateau, in a jungle surrounded by volcanic peaks. This area, the Crucible of Life, is full of wild plant growth, dangerous animals and dinosaurs. The port city is a shadowy one, always full of mist from the defoliants the Ironweld alchemists create to hold back the plants outside. The Anvils of the Heldenhammer are the Stormhost that founded the city, and they are a grim lot, as are the locals. Anvilgardians are stern, tough and very superstitious. They're hard to befriend, but they know much ancient folklore that they still hold to as truth. Despite their unfriendly demeanor, the city is a bustling trade port and known for its fighting beasts, coveted by the Order Serpentis even before the Azyrites settled in the region. Local trade is regulated by the Scourge corsairs, as part of their demands in exchange for protecting the city. Many say the city is actually controlled by the Blackscale Coil, a criminal organization of Scourge, Darklings and Order Serpentis beastmasters. Certainly the Coil has a lot of blackmail, assassins and threats to use. That the Anvils have not struck against them leads some to believe that either a bargain has been made or the Coil is terrifyingly subtle.

Anvilgard is haunted by skeletal dinosaurs, which arose along the Charrwind Coast during the Necroquake. They attacked the city en masse, and even the warbeasts of the Order Serpentis seemed insufficient to hold the tide of undead monsters back. The city was saved by the appearance of a mysterious army of Seraphone (read: lizardmen) from the jungle, who surrounded the city and smashed the undead dinosaurs to bits before retreating back into the trees. Shortly after, a Skink named Ze'Bul'Ka wandered into the Grand Council chambers, declared that the Seraphon felt quite at home in the Crucible of Life jungles, and would be staying. Then he left and went into a strange green building on the outskirts which no one remembered being built. This place, now called the Jade Temple, is home to a group of skinks who will listen to people that want Seraphon help, though the locals are largely terrified of them still. The undead dinosaurs and other reptiles remain a problem, but not a city-destroying one.

Anvalor, meanwhile, is the youngest city in the region. Many claim it is cursed, for while it sits on what could be an excellent central crossroads, it seems to be constantly under threat. Orruks, Chaos, Skaven and natural disasters have all struck the city, which has barely survived each one. It lacks a realmgate, but it sits at the exact center of the Parch and is home to pure deep-water mineral wells, which would provide sustenance to many if the city can be secured. Rumor has it that a large army of Stormcast and Duardin will soon attempt to garrison and secure the area, possibly with the aid of the Order Serpentis aelves, who want access to the giant snakes in the nearby desert.

Next time: Golvaria, Khul's Ravage, Vanx and Vitrolia

MonsterEnvy
Feb 4, 2012

Truly Cursed


Mors Rattus posted:

while the Blades of the Blood Queen come in from the south to take victims for their blood rites.

While not explained here. The Blades of the Blood Queen is a subordinate group of the Legion of Blood, Neferata the First Vampire's personal legion.

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017



MonsterEnvy posted:

While not explained here. The Blades of the Blood Queen is a subordinate group of the Legion of Blood, Neferata the First Vampire's personal legion.

I thought they’d be a reference to Valkia and now I’m disappointed.

MonsterEnvy
Feb 4, 2012

Truly Cursed


Dawgstar posted:

I thought they’d be a reference to Valkia and now I’m disappointed.

Valkia is still around.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Joe Slowboat
Nov 9, 2016

Higgledy-Piggledy Whale Statements





mllaneza posted:

Well, yeah. Sex, drugs, violence, the occult, teenagers... Not a great game, but it's a hell of a package - Erol Otus did the art and it's some of his best.

I listened to the review, and are you sure you’re thinking of the right game? There’s nothing occult in what they reference.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply