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
Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Chaos warriors have been purified by Ghal Maraz in AoS and become good guys, yes.

That’s not what happened with the ghosts being resurrected. They fell and died, because gravity.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

SkyeAuroline
Nov 12, 2020



Hipster Occultist posted:

I really don't get it either. As a business strategy, putting this narrative out as a RPG is going to outright frustrate most players I know, and even the ones willing to assume the pretty large workload of kludging this book into something a group of PCs could actually play are going to be few in number. They are right about one thing, in that this takes and experienced GM to run. I think Marko is still stuck in the 90's, when this approach to RPGs was all the rage and actually performed pretty well for a time. This is what he likes best, and while SMV could look at how RPGs have developed for the past 30+ years, its not want he'd want to play, so he doesn't write that.

At least, that's my armchair interpretation. I'm just having fun ragging on all of this poo poo design.
I think you're right, I'm just generally baffled. Game of Thrones et al have long since proven that... I don't know how to word this, and my brain keeps coming back to "euro media sensibilities" when that doesn't even make sense, but the "adult" approach has its market that's a lot easier to sell in non-interactive media. Things like the Black Atlantic rape scene, while just about never "appropriate material", are easier for watchers to swallow when they aren't being asked to mentally invest in it and have their own surrogates doing it while in control. All these railroaded plots have the bones of decent narrative fiction that could easily ride on SMV's artistic direction. I'm thinking back to either 1e or the early 2e supplements, the black-and-white Spitalian scenes in Justitian (I'll look for it when I have time), and picturing something in that style. (If I can't find it but readers have played Destiny 2, this season's animated cutscenes are stylistically similar, just much darker in palette.) They've got strengths to ride on, just none of them are in game design.

SMV had the funding for two well put together live-action trailers for the RPG, and they have a small mountain of artists willing to work for an unprofitable passion project. Do comics! Pitch a TV show or a film (full-length or otherwise); hell, you've already got costumes and some CG experience for that thanks to the trailers! Write books if you don't want to pull the contract artists in! Hell, even do web media. Degenesis gets advertised as a "multimedia project" but the only media they focus on is the worst fit for what they're trying to sell. I'll never understand.

Leraika
Jun 14, 2015

slime time



The LotW writeup makes me feel so seen all of a sudden :allears:

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.


Leraika posted:

The LotW writeup makes me feel so seen all of a sudden :allears:

:D I hope my feeble attempts at explaining this system helped a little!

Leraika
Jun 14, 2015

slime time



GimpInBlack posted:

:D I hope my feeble attempts at explaining this system helped a little!

Yes, actually! Can't wait to see you get to the individual archetype writeups.

Hipster Occultist
Aug 16, 2008

He's an ancient, obscure god. You probably haven't heard of him.




SkyeAuroline posted:

I think you're right, I'm just generally baffled. Game of Thrones et al have long since proven that... I don't know how to word this, and my brain keeps coming back to "euro media sensibilities" when that doesn't even make sense, but the "adult" approach has its market that's a lot easier to sell in non-interactive media. Things like the Black Atlantic rape scene, while just about never "appropriate material", are easier for watchers to swallow when they aren't being asked to mentally invest in it and have their own surrogates doing it while in control. All these railroaded plots have the bones of decent narrative fiction that could easily ride on SMV's artistic direction. I'm thinking back to either 1e or the early 2e supplements, the black-and-white Spitalian scenes in Justitian (I'll look for it when I have time), and picturing something in that style. (If I can't find it but readers have played Destiny 2, this season's animated cutscenes are stylistically similar, just much darker in palette.) They've got strengths to ride on, just none of them are in game design.

SMV had the funding for two well put together live-action trailers for the RPG, and they have a small mountain of artists willing to work for an unprofitable passion project. Do comics! Pitch a TV show or a film (full-length or otherwise); hell, you've already got costumes and some CG experience for that thanks to the trailers! Write books if you don't want to pull the contract artists in! Hell, even do web media. Degenesis gets advertised as a "multimedia project" but the only media they focus on is the worst fit for what they're trying to sell. I'll never understand.

Yeah, If you cleaned things up a bit (well a lot lets be real) and brought in some POC writers to fix the mess that is Africa and its peoples in Degenesis, you could probably make a decent show or even video game out of it.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Age of Sigmar: Lumineth Realm-Lords
Mannfred Von Carstein's The Producers

So, in the wake of Teclis' attack on his empire, Nagash decides he needs to consolidate power and start expanding. He has a plan to convert a number of realmgates in other Realms into mini-Nadirs that will channel the magic of their realm into the Shyish Nadir, thus further empowering him as he seeks vengeance. Mannfred von Carstein is sent to Ghyran to drain its life energies and Neferata is sent to Chamon to try and siphon its power. But Hysh? Hysh is the one Nagash is angriest at, and so he assigns it to his most loyal and beloved Mortarch, Arkhan the Black.

Mannfred immediately realizes he's been given the toughest job - turning Life into Death is not an easy job, especially when the Realmgate he's trying to collapse is in the middle of Invidia, where Nurgle is strongest. He also hates Nagash, who decided to keep him around after the End Times because Manny reminds him of himself with his ruthlessness and willingness to be a petty rear end in a top hat. Mannfred has been channeling his hate and anger at Nagash into his work for a long time, but has realized now he can find ways to betray his master without ever struggling against his obedience controls: he can deliberately gently caress up.

Mannfred emerges from the Bleeding Gate and sending an army of skeletons to distract any nearby patrols. His plan is to perform a massive ritual to flood the Gate with necrotic energy, then concentrate it through a spell based on the Curse of Years, which will accelerate the natural aging and decay of the realmgate until it collapses. The gate is inside the Claim of Horticulous, the region of Invidia claimed by the daemon Horticulous Slimux, first of the Heralds of Nurgle. It is essentially Nurgle's Garden's Ghyran outreach branch, though he has left the Bleeding Gate alone because of the Shyishian energies that flow out of it, stunting all growth. Manny knows that what he's doing is going to draw in a ton of deamons...but also, they're very slow-moving ones and also easily distracted by their pet obsessions. Therefore, he has to motivate them.

First, Manny picks out three of his vampiric lieutenants and puts them in charge of an army apiece. He knows three is the number of Nurgle, so he is going to make a triple preemptive assault on the Reality Sores, the three lake-strongholds nearby that form the heart of Horticulous' personal fief. He also raises a fourth army, which he keeps with him to defend his ritual. The first army is a horde of skeletons led by a floating bone-thing called the Beacon Mortis. It gets hurled at the first of the Reality Sores, getting in a big fight with the Beasts of Nurgle defending it. The Beasts of Nurgle have a near-total victory due to their sheer bulk smashing apart the skeletons, but their job is just to be a distraction, so that's fine.

Army two gets intercepted by Horticulous Slimux's rival and ally, the daemon Rotigus, in the Sliming Woad. He had sensed Mannfred's arrival, and his Nurgling army runs into Mannfred's force of wights, who have cursed the area with necromantic power and reduced the rot and living plague. This battle goes more in Manny's favor, with the two forces ending up in a grinding war of attrition that neither side can get out of easily. The third army, meanwhile, attacks from the Hind Sea, riding out of the water and charging towards the Sores, all to give the impression that Mannfred has infiltrated Invidia far more than he actually did. Slimux moves to intercept the third force himself, utterly defeating Mannfred's Black Knights but taking a while to do so. Again, this is all going according to Manny's plan.

Mannfred, meanwhile, has been capturing and sacrificing all of the Nurglite tribes in the region so that he can flood the Bleeding Gate with death energy. It begins to crumble under the weight of necromancy, sending a wave of power throughout the entire Everspring Swathe. The Sylvaneth are already hypersensitive to the flow of life and death, and Alarielle notices what's going on in the spirit-song even over the corruption of Slimux. Alarielle can sense Mannfred, and it should be noted, she hates Mannfred personally. In the World-That-Was, Mannfred personally killed her daughter Aliathra to awaken Nagash. While Alarielle and Tyrion have grown apart since becoming gods, Alarielle loved her daughter. A lot. So, she decides she needs to go deal with Manny and his mass sacrifice. She leads a Sylvaneth force into Invidia, smashing through any Nurglite forces that get in her way. The forces of Rotigus and Horticulous Slimux are coming at Manny from one side, and Alarielle is coming in from another.

Alarielle brings proper nature with her, purging the taint of Chaos wherever she walks and killing any Chaos-tainted humans or Nurglite daemons that try to stop her. (Which is plenty - many see killing her as a way to earn Nurgle's favor.) Mannfred notices her coming, and he dispatches the powerful vampire lord Garathrac the Skull-Hound to face her, along with three zombie dragons. Garathrac is totally certain he can win; Manny is very much not. He just sits back and watches as Alarielle's beetle slaughters one dragon, her spear converts the second into a cloud of moths, and she uses her magic to impale Garathrac, who is riding the third, on a bunch of trees. Mannfred looks over his entire plan being ruined, having deliberately drawn as much aggro as possible, and decides: yes, good, this ritual can't possibly succeed. And so he stands up, having done literally no fighting for the entire thing, bows to Alarielle, and leaves, leaving all of his forces to cover his retreat. He ends this little thing having failed, just as planned, but taken no personal harm whatsoever.

Neferata is not so lucky. Her attack on the Spiral Crux is meticulously planned and intended to succeed. She enters by stealth, having waited for a moment when the local Kharadron are distracted by other problems. If not for a single admiral, she would have secured the portal at Switchsoul Dais and been halfway to done with her ritual before anyone even noticed. She knows exactly how many sacrifices she needs to do her job, where Manny was just going for as many possible, though Neferata does add a 30% extra margin on top in case of problems. All her prisoners are already prepared, slaves brought in for the purpose of dying. She intends to actually do the thing, not just be loud. What she isn't counting on is Admiral Imoda Barrasdottr, a master cartographer who commands only the Ironclad Intaglio and two Frigates. She's got the best maps of the region and knows it like the back of her hand, and she has also been talking to as many people as possible, even humans and a pair of Hyshian aelf twins, to learn where all the other local Kharadron are going to be and what mine routes they're using.

At this point, Imoda notices no one's going near a region in the Granthium Mountains and realizes people are intentionally avoiding it, despite it being the fastest route for some ships. She decides that someone must be causing this for some reason, and she heads out from Barak-Zilfin to find out why. Once she arrives, she spots a skeleton that seems to be standing watch on the mountains, has it shot, and watches as it gets back up and flees down a fissure. Her ships follow, their small Arkanaut detail ready to fight, and Imoda hears screaming in the depths. She spots the sacrifices being performed and orders the ships to flee - which they manage only by the skin of their teeth, chased by vampires and hellbats until they dive straight through a harkraken lair and get the monsters to do their fighting for them. They arrive at Barak-Zilfin, essentially broke thanks to all the damage, but alive.

Imoda tells the aelven twins she met about the problem and the evil vampires she saw. The aelves turn out to be Ellania and Ellathor, a pair of warsages who know quite well about Nagash. They're very influential Lumineth, and they make their way to the top of Barak-Zilfin to commune with the moon spirits, confirming Ellania's prophetic dreams of Nagash doing nasty things in Chamon. She reports this to Celennar, who reports it to Teclis, who sends the Ymetrican Alarith to go help fight Nefereta. The aelves and Imoda sneak through Tzeentchian-controlled mountains to get to the ritual site, where they commune with the local mountain and head in to fight the Nehekharan vampire. Because they struck unexpectedly, they had a chance. Even so, the sheer number of skeletons and their lack of self-preservation proved a great challenge. Their advance on Neferata is blocked, and they are confronted by the Scarlet Doyennes, three vampires on a flying Nehekharan throne. Ellathor tries to fight them but is almost killed until Ellania saves him with her spells...and in doing so reveals her position to Neferata, who begins magically pulling the blood out of her body, nearly killing her. The Alarith can't save them, as they are ambushed by a Terrorgheist and several are slain.

They are saved when the leading Stonemage, Xelathuria, sacrifices much of her life essence to awaken the soul of the Granthian Mountains as Granthius, a powerful Spirit of The Mountain. This turns the tide as the huge spirit destroys Neferata's Dread Abyssal steed, Nagadron, which explodes and sends Neferata flying. Granthius calls up a wave of molten gold, destroying the altar with that and a giant hammer blow. The death energies dissipate, but Neferata's contingency plan activates - a set of runes that begin collapsing the cave on itself. She has failed, but she is determined to bring her enemies down with her. It's unclear what happens after that - but probably Ellanor and Ellathia survive, as they're named characters who get stats, and Neferata is probably still alive as well.

E: I take this back - they do show in an art tableau. Granthius holds the cave up long enough for everyone to escape and Neferata flees by herself.

We jump to Hysh, where Arkhan has led the Null Myriad Ossiarch Legion through the Blackpit Realmgate, a quarantined area that the Lumineth of Ymetrica generally avoid. Arkhan rides out on his Dread Abyssal, Razarak, and leads the Ossiarchs to attack. The Lumineth are aware of them, but are too wary of the realmgate to attack the Null Myriad there, where the energies of Shyish are strong. They instead watch from the mountains and confront them when they emerge. It works for a time, as the aelves lure the Ossiarchs into a valley full of hidden Stonemages. Arkhan sees through the trap, though, and backs his forces out of it before it can be sprung. The aelves overcommit, and the Ossiarchs immediately begin killing them. The aelven mages are also unable to get through the magical protections of the Null Myriad, and despair strikes. This turns out to be good, as they are lead by the Cathallar Weeping Veil, who turns the despair into a cloud of smoke that she assaults the undead with. Unfortunately for her, Arkhan is a better wizard and unmakes the spell. By nightfall, he has driven the aelves out of the mountains around the Blackpit Realmgate.

The Lumineth call for rtillery support, deploying their starshard ballistas to rain fire on the Ossiarchs, drawing out the Mortisan healers. Then they begin sniping those guys, maximizing the damage they can cause. Alarith forces strike and fade, driving back the Null Myriad for brief moments and opening them to assault by Scinari magic. They make sure to burn the bodies of their own dead, despite the taboo of doing so without funeral, so that the Ossiarchs cannot reanimate them. The anguish and pain of doing so would have overwhelmed the aelves if not for the quick action of Weeping Veil, who burned off the pain to keep the soldiers going. The Ossiarchs, unable to repair and resupply, find that they have lost one of their greatest normal advantages. They can no longer expect to return to battle easily.

Sevireth, Lord of the Seventh Wind and greatest of the Hurakan spirits, leads the Hurakan into the mountains in a wild assault on the Null Myriad. While the wind spirits are few, their arrows prove deadly to the Ossiarchs, collapsing shield walls and sending theirl ines into Chaos. Arkhan grows frustrated and enters battle himself. Any aelf he faces dies of old age instantly, withered b the Curse of Years, but it finds no purchase on the immortal Sevireth. Arkhan is forced to flee before the burning sandstorm the spirit raises. He and the Null Myriad abandon their ritual and flee back through the Blackpit. The remnant left to defend the realmgate are led by Arkhan's second, Ossiferctor Xaramos, who is much less dangerous. The Lumineth believe that they have won. Meanwhile, Arkhan is rallying his forces to move to the Gates of Paradox, a second Hyshian realmgate he has chosen as his new staging area. This time, he will not attack the well-defended Ymetrican mountains, but the Desert of Ending in Haixiah, where no one lives.

Haixiah is the desert that forms the Realm's Edge of Hysh, and it is made of solidified light. The Gates of Paradox are weaker in death energy than the Blackpit, but Arkhan knows that no mortal army can approach him so close to the Realm's Edge. Only the Ossiarchs of the Null Myriad, who had withstood the edge of Shyish, could manage it. They worked for weeks to build a defense around the Gates of Paradox, just in case, and Arkhan chose to forgo human sacrifice to power his new rite - his skill was enough not to need it, given how much raw magic was sitting around the edge of Hysh. The Scinari are alerted of what's going on by Celennar, who saw it from the moon, but they have a problem: anyone they send will die due to the nature of Haixiah, and might not even get to Arkhan before they do. They can't ignore it, however.

Eltharion appears to volunteer his services - he will lead the expedition against Arkhan, for he is a spirit and can withstand the magic, and he has a long grudge against the necromancer that goes all the way back tto the World-That-Was, when Arkhan slew him. Those warriors most faithful to Eltharion volunteer to go with him, and they head out for Haixiah. Many of them die on the journey, their flesh turned to crystal and light, but a small force makes it to the perimeter. They are exhausted, but Eltharion and the Hurakan riders that go with him don't care. They attack Arkhan, and the Null Myriad are caught completely off guard. The winds come to their aid, tossing the undead forces around and opening a gap in the battle lines. Eltharion races ahead, finding Arkhan and challenging him to combat. The battle is a vicious one, and Eltharion wipes out several of Arkhan's Ossiarch bodyguads with his fractal lasers. The Lighto f Eltharion flares, and he attacks Arkhan directly, dodging past Razarak's claws. Arkhan is driven back, beyond the Gates of Paradox, and the Hurakan lord Yara Qu Wai uses wind magic to keep the Ossiarchs from itnervening in the fight.

The Light of Eltharion hurls Arkhan the Black into the edge of Hysh itself, where the laws of reality are torn asunder. Razarak dives after him, and there is a sudden explosion of light.

Arkhan the Black is dead. Permanently. He is consumed by the Border Inimical and converted into pure Hyshian energy.

Next time: Act 3 - A Clash of Gods

Mors Rattus fucked around with this message at 17:21 on Apr 8, 2021

Froghammer
Sep 8, 2012





Mors Rattus posted:

Please keep this sentence in mind for Act 2.

Mors Rattus posted:

Arkhan the Black is dead. Permanently. He is consumed by the Border Inimical and converted into pure Hyshian energy.
Oop

A lot of this is clean-up for Legions of Nagash being phased out as an army in favor of smaller subfactions, including the new Vampire Counts

MonsterEnvy
Feb 4, 2012


Froghammer posted:

Oop

A lot of this is clean-up for Legions of Nagash being phased out as an army in favor of small subfactions, including the new Vampire Counts

Not quite. The Legions of Nagash are being replaced by the Soulblight Gravelords. Which are Vampire Counts 2.0. All the old Legions units (With some new models for them) will be in Soulblight with some new units. So it's probably going to be bigger then Legions was.
Arkhan however had already made the jump is part of the Ossiarch army, and so does not need to be updated to Soulblight.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Blue Rose 2e

Just when I was out, a deer pulls me back in!

Alright, folks. I thought I was done. I thought I'd finished with F&Fin' and all that stuff. But then came an insistent tapping at my window, which is odd, because I live on the seventh floor, and right outside my window was a deer. Staring at me. And you know how it goes. Deer shows up, you get poo poo done.

Well, you probably don't know that yet, as I haven't started this up yet. Let's get to it then, shall we? Blue Rose is a game based around a genre I have absolutely no experience reading, which is one of the reasons I'm interested in it! I've never read a single work that I know of that defined itself as Romantic Fantasy. I ain't read no Mercedes Lackey, no Tamora Pierce, none of it. Which is why this does it for me! I got no experience at all with the genre, and so I figure I'm a good test case of whether or not this book can introduce its genre, how it works, and provide a setting and game that works for the concept. Plus, it's AGE, and I liked AGE as a Unisystem-esque thing in Modern AGE (See my review of that and its disappointing add-on book!), so I wouldn't have to sit through d20 to do it! Pretty sweet deal.

Blue Rose is a story about a magical fairytale kingdom called Aldis. Aldis is a pretty big country, and it's about 320 years out from a time when a bunch of insane wizards called Sorcerer Kings (I don't really like the name, considering the first one, Empress Delsha, was a woman so c'mon, let's use something gender neutral guys!) ruled the world with powerful sorcery that they used to oppress and dominate all life. Those jerks had come outta the Old Kingdom, which had been a powerful magocracy until it went the way a powerful magocracy can sometimes go and people got a little too excited about playing with the spaces outside the teleportation networks and rediscovered an ancient evil that had once driven one of the first Gods insane for awhile, the Shadow. The Shadow liked to tell wizards (and others) they were the best ever, and deserved more than anyone else. It ensnared a bunch of them, and sent things spiraling out of control until the aforementioned Delsha took over and became Empress. Eventually, she got wasted, as happens, and her apprentices and enforcers tried to divide the world among themselves. It didn't work, so they ended up in a Shadow-driven hell-war for centuries that brought misery and oppression to all the world as they all strove to become Emperors.

Thankfully for everyone in the world, they kicked their own asses enough trying to strive for ultimate power that brave rebels were able to rise up against them, and the stupid bastards kept trying to use the rebels against one another rather than ever considering uniting to stomp the rebels out. The rebels were also aided in this by a bunch of psychic forest creatures that came to their aid, a little pissed off that the original Empress had tried to exterminate them because she didn't like magical psychic foxes that can do cute dances and cause earthquakes. Empress Delsha should've been way more chill about magic foxes. Even that wasn't enough, so when they prayed for aid, they got the ultimate friend of Aldis: The Golden Hart, who I will mostly be referring to as 'the magic deer' or 'that deer', because I find it funny. It's a term of endearment, really; I might make a lot of jokes about the deer (because I think it has a ton of comedic potential) but I'm down with it. The Hart made anyone it was close to immune to dark magic, which was sort of a problem for powerful dark lords whose entire bullshit fiefdoms were propped up with dark magic. With the aid of the deer, they kicked the hell outta MOST of the Sorcerer Kings except one filing clerk living up in the mountains and running mines who was hard to get to and who'd prove to be a problem later. The world celebrated that it had gotten rid of these jerks, and then the magic deer picked a Queen and everyone decided that seemed reasonable. The magic forest critters, aided by the deer, gave that queen a magic scepter that would show if someone was a decent person at the exact moment they got booped with the scepter. And only that exact moment; important detail. In return for granting her the basis of all of Aldis's civil service (you go through a bunch of state exams and then get booped with the scepter to become a Noble, it's not hereditary) and because she wasn't a jerk, the Queen also made the forest critters full citizens, which presumably made a lot of them do adorable dances because hey, it's what they wanted. They swore they'd try to make this a nice kingdom where people weren't goddamn jerks all the time. That was 320 years ago.

By now, Aldis is a pretty nice place to live. It's a large, relatively prosperous country that uses magic fairly responsibly, practices gender equality and is generally extremely open-minded, and has fully open borders, a public school system, and plenty of food. This, mind, is why people keep going with the deer's choice, I think. It's mostly worked out for them! Sure, one Queen got dementia on top of her well-managed schizophrenia and had to be gently coaxed into retirement, and one king went Judge Dredd, using psychic powers to cast 'detect evil' and then killing anyone who pinged until a mixture of rebellion and getting kicked in the head by a deer removed him, but most of the time things work okay. Some rulers are better, some are worse, but Aldis persists. The status quo is pretty decent. Your job is to protect it and deal with the bits that aren't living up to snuff while wearing very fancy clothes, doing civil service, and probably getting married, maybe to a villain you redeemed or something.

That's the short pitch. Does it manage to do this? So far! In play it's been a nice change of pace to write something relatively upbeat and friendly as opposed to constant rebellions and suffering and struggles against incredible forces of dark power. Mind, you're still going to be dealing with the Shadow, but unlike a lot of stuff, you can absolutely pull people out of the muck and Corruption. It's mechanically supported! I'll be getting into way more detail than the fairly flippant summary above because Aldis was a little dull at first (It has that problem of frontloading a long list of fictional kings and not the fun bits) but it's grown on me. We'll also be exploring Kern, the dark kingdom formerly ruled by that surviving filing clerk until he got wasted between editions by a teleporting queen and now his former minions are all pulling the Dark Lord version of the Death of Stalin, and Jarzon, a country that thinks this is a Dark Fantasy setting and that you need a strong church of the Holy Flame that believes in heteronormativity and social conformity to survive the dark shadows and evils that lurk in every corner. They are not correct. There are a few other countries, too, but they don't really revolve around the central themes and so don't get the attention Kern, Jarzon, and Aldis do. We'll also talk about how this deploys and modifies the AGE system and what works and what doesn't. You know the deal, this ain't my first F&F.

So strap on your fancy jacket, put on a shining cloak, lace up your well-tailored boots, and let's get down with the deer, people.

Next Time: Just what IS Romantic Fantasy? A guy who's never read any tries to describe it using this book as a source!

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 19:58 on Apr 8, 2021

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Mors Rattus posted:

Chaos warriors have been purified by Ghal Maraz in AoS and become good guys, yes.

That’s not what happened with the ghosts being resurrected. They fell and died, because gravity.

You know what I mean: it's not what happens after the cleanse that matters - I don't think Ynnead just left the Rubricae around - but that this cleanse-trolling isn't unprecedented.

As for the "there's no weight to this," yes, it still feels like that even in part 2, with armies called up and consumed with no impact on anything. Plus, the army-scale deployment of the new ballista model is just emblematic of the worst GW writing: We're Pushing A New Model, And Don't Know How To Do It Without Spamming.

That said, it's cool they killed Arkhan. He was probably the most disposable of the legacy chars, but it's still miles above what GW would ever do. Could have had Creed die with Cadia or Papa Smurf just get owned now that Bobby G is back, but nooo...

Tulul
Oct 23, 2013


Night10194 posted:

Blue Rose 2e

Infamously, noted bag of dicks theRPGPundit hated this game and he really hated that deer. It was meant to push the sinister ideological agenda of WICCAN COLLECTIVISM, it lacked verisimilitude and realism (i.e., sexism), it didn't reflect actual romantic fantasy (which apparently involves a lot of young women being horribly oppressed by sexism), and again, just could not get over that loving deer. There was a lot of "controversy" over the original Blue Rose back in 2005 and his crowd was behind most of it.

Anyway I'm not gonna grognards.txt this thread up any farther, except to say that he did coin the delightful term "venisonocracy", even if he meant it to be scathing.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


I love the deer but then a magic emperor-choosing crown that got traumatized by being tricked by a fascist and didn't pick for a century after (and then did, and man is the person it picked confused) is a major component of something I wrote.

I like magic as a way to think about why we have the governments we do and how government works, by enabling a type of government we both can't actually have but also often said we did in some form or another. So for me, thinking about why people follow the deer's chosen is legitimately interesting and fun to write about. What does it mean about the consent of the governed, what does it say about the shape of a government when they can, in fact, be assured that their initial choices are at least socially minded and basically ethical, and how do they deal with the ethical drift that happens after (since it only gives you that impression as a momentary snapshot when they're recruited)? Combined with other elements of the shape of their government and justice system I actually find this makes Aldis more interesting to me.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

IT *BZZT* WASP ME--
IT WASP ME ALL *BZZT* ALONG!




Also a magical deer is so superior to just about every system throughout history that its embarrassing.

Tsilkani
Jul 28, 2013



Like I said on the Discord, any nerd who cleared out warrens full of goblin civilians at the behest of Pelor or Kord doesn't get to say poo poo about a Deer asking you to take care of each other.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Tsilkani posted:

Like I said on the Discord, any nerd who cleared out warrens full of goblin civilians at the behest of Pelor or Kord doesn't get to say poo poo about a Deer asking you to take care of each other.

And as I've said before, the potential for comedy is incredible: The deer picks anyone. So you can just be going about your business and then suddenly, you find out the king's dead because there's the deer, choosing your teenage daughter to go off and have a life of adventure in the capital as an unprepared but well-meaning queen with a great deal of growing to do as a person. You were just doing the washing up and now your daughter's a protagonist.

This just happens and I like that. In addition to all other story possibilities, etc.

SkyeAuroline
Nov 12, 2020



Hipster Occultist posted:

Yeah, If you cleaned things up a bit (well a lot lets be real) and brought in some POC writers to fix the mess that is Africa and its peoples in Degenesis, you could probably make a decent show or even video game out of it.

Yes. I can't claim to be an authority on fixing Degenesis Africa, but there's a lot of places with work to be done in Europe that are at least somewhat clear even from an American position. Might collate some of what I think can be salvaged at some point.
On that note, going to try and get another Red Markets post out in the next few days. Combo of a few things that's been holding them back, between "wow reading RM in Current Year kinda loving sucks", a lot of quality doubts re: reviewing (especially without actual play experience), and ramping up finally gming something myself again that has my brain on other systems entirely (Never Going Home, which I'll likely edit my playtesting notes to work into a review of its own... at least the heavy lifting will be done in advance there, right?).

AmiYumi
Oct 10, 2005

I FORGOT TO HAIL KING TORG


So, I let myself get waaay behind on this thread while staring in mute glassy-eyed horror at the hellscape of 2020. When I finally started scrolling through again, I noticed a few topics coming up consistently (besides “Age of Sigmar”). Of course, now hundreds of pages behind, I wanted to scan through and make sure I wasn’t beaten to it, mentally kicking myself about all the things I couldn’t reply to without necroposting. Here, I saved a more recent one, specifically for this purpose:

TheGreatEvilKing posted:

Dammit! I bought it for $50 at the local game store, then googled the price. They got me! Wizards, I mean, I'd support the Dice Dojo again in a heartbeat.
Hell yeah, fellow Dice Dojo enjoyer!

Anyway. This has all been intended as a preamble to keep my next post as a more on-topic review of:

That time I played

at GenCon 2019!


For whatever stupid reason, I've kinda liked CthulhuTech from back in the days of Ettin's reviews. Enough to own all the books, do a review of my own on a side-book after Ettin stopped covering them, and to run a game of my own (houseruled all to gently caress, of course, because that system was busted).

But hey! GenCon 2019! I was there, playing games, spending way too much money, personally disappointing Grant Howitt by not actually being a Japanese pop duo, all the things you'd expect. And during reservation, I saw two CthulhuTech games on the docket - the one hour Lightning Mission (which I got into), and the more involved Shadow War (which I did not, although I tried). Never having given V2 much of a look other than "oh tagers are customizable now, neat" but figuring it would be a quickstart, I signed up - and then, due to a weird timing thing, I was early. Early enough that I was the only player there, and the ST let me look over a huge printed binder while we waited, all typeset and full of art assets and neat things. This review is based on my memories of that, and this, which came out in all its "Zoom call where one guy has the other on speaker" glory as I noodling this review over in my head.

AmiYumi
Oct 10, 2005

I FORGOT TO HAIL KING TORG


That time I played

at GenCon 2019!


To address the biggest gripe I saw about the game whenever it came up in this thread, the playtest and binder I got a chance to look at heavily addressed the "where are my cool Mythos racial options" issue. The character I selected was a Widow tager (because I remembered it being busted in 1e), which turned out to be a ghoul. Well, a "high ghoul", which seemed to hit the "half-orc" sort of point in ghoul society - I was prettier and smarter than most ghouls, so I was the one sent up as an envoy. I had a few character abilities based on having a big network of ghoul allies, which I tried to use in the adventure but wasn't able to do much with (as it was about infiltrating a Chrysalis Corp facility).

I remember also seeing a Deep One Hybrid race, which I recall being more "you haven't gone full fish yet" but according to the interview has been turned into the "waveborn" who had the hybridization process go wrong - disappointing, IMO.

There was also at least one other race I remember, something more alien, and the interview mentioned above noted seven "Stranger Races" including Cats of Ulthar (gently caress yeah!) and a redesigned Nazzadi whose flesh tones are tinged by "local minerals" near the clone vats and I can’t think of anything besides Crystal Gems now :confuoot:

Anyway, remember how I mentioned picking the Widow because it was busted in 1e? My god was that still true - I spent the hour skittering on walls and ceilings, one-shotting everything I attacked as the rest of the party struggled. Which is a good time to go over basic rules; the "poker dice" of 1e has given way to a very basic system of "roll whatever you want and count the evens", aka "flip a coin". I had hoped that was just for the convention, but apparently that is the system going forward. :sigh:

More interesting bits digging into the system included a "party leader" role (I was chosen due to familiarity with the setting) who gets to assign initiative order and suggest strategy, and a system of aggro I can't quite remember but was definitely game-able (one of the tagers was very much a tank, not able to do much damage but able to draw aggro and absorb damage much better than the rest of us). There was also some sort of "degrees of success" in the combat a la PBtA, and most attacks ended up with an exchange of blows where both sides took a hit.

That's about it, mechanically - like I said, this was a one-hour game, from back in 2019, so even though I got to flip through the book for a bit it's not at the forefront of my mind. There are a few more details from that interview, at least:

The dreamlands are back! No specifics given.

Tager sorcery is explicitly gone, which is both "boo!" because one of my PCs played a John Constantine type (with much houserule intervention) and because "no access to magical energy" was supposed to be the one drawback of the stronger tagers in 1e.

No one has any clue how to pronounce tager; even the dev pronounced in three different ways. Tagger, Tay grrr, Tuh gay-er. :eng99:

That’s...kinda it, unfortunately. The rules binder surprised me in its thoroughness when the devs have been neglectfully quiet - the social media presence is almost nil, the Wildfire site looks abandoned, and that interview I linked is the only one I’ve seen in years.

Will I get the new edition of the game? Yeah, probably - I’ve backed worse Kickstarters. But will I even know they’re running one in time? Maybe not.

AmiYumi fucked around with this message at 22:26 on Apr 8, 2021

mellonbread
Dec 20, 2017


SkyeAuroline posted:

a lot of quality doubts re: reviewing (especially without actual play experience)
You did pretty well so far. And even if you miss something, there are several posters in the thread who enjoy talking about their experience with the game. My favorite part of FATAL and Friends is the push/pull between the impression a game makes when you read it, versus what it's like to actually play it.

MonsterEnvy
Feb 4, 2012


AmiYumi posted:

Will I get the new edition of the game? Yeah, probably - I’ve backed worse Kickstarters. But will I even know they’re running one in time? Maybe not.

I have a habit of finding out about Kickstarters I am interested in after they are over.

Maxwell Lord
Dec 12, 2008

I am drowning.
There is no sign of land.
You are coming down with me, hand in unlovable hand.

And I hope you die.

I hope we both die.


:smith:



Grimey Drawer



Buck Rogers XXVc: The 25th Century

No Humans Allowed

Human Gennies: From Asteroid Miners to Slightly Different Asteroid Miners to the Prince of Atlantis


And here at last is what they call “the good stuff”. Not that the rest of the book isn’t useful but this is why we’re all here. All the gennie entries in this book are done in the style of the contemporary AD&D 2 Monster Manuals: each critter gets a full page, a picture, a bunch of short info next to that picture, and beneath that data, some more detailed material. Here, the info includes the conceived purpose of the gennie, and a more detailed section on the genotype gives a history of their development. This is one of the things I really enjoy about the book, the gennies are mostly corporate products with weird stories behind how they were “manufactured” and introduced. This in turn adds an interesting theme to the setting, with large swathes of humanity being bred for purpose and owing their literal creation to large corporations. All the ones in this section, being based on humans, are presented with information for them as a PC race, with attribute and saving throw mods.



Asterminers are a good strange one to start us off, people designed to work on asteroids and survive long periods in a vacuum (there are actually a few of these, but I can believe different genetic companies trying different approaches to the same problem.) They’re apparently based on an amphibian genotype, which gives them the weird ability to store oxygen in liquid form in their cell tissue. They can also seal their mouth and ears, don’t have any noses, and their eyes have hard lenses over them. All this means they can live up to ten hours in a vacuum environment, and they have a +3 to suffocation saves afterward. They’re tall, heavy, warm-blooded and apparently not that bright. Their big disadvantage is they can only stand to live so long in a gravity well before their muscles start to deteriorate, at a rate of one point of Strength and Constitution each day past a week. They tend to live where they work, spending long shifts mining asteroids. They were created by RAM’s Bioscience division after a lengthy process.

As a PC race, Asterminers have +3 to Strength, Dex, and Constitution, but -3 to Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. As mentioned before they have near-total immunity to suffocation, as well as a +5 bonus to Toxic/Gas/Poison saves and a +2 vs. Explosion/Plasma. Their skin also gives them a natural AC of 5. They first appeared in a module called N.E.O. in the 25th Century.



Belters are another asteroid-mining gennie, and it’s kinda weird to see these two right next to each other. (Indeed this conceptual space is pretty crowded with the Spacers and Ringers being based on similar ideas.) They’re based on Terrans, but with various little modifications to adapt to working in zero-g. They have opposable big toes and brain modifications that let them use all their limbs independently and interchangeably. They’ve also been modified a bit to be psychologically suited to their isolated existence. Unlike Asterminers they need suits to survive in a vacuum. The main drawback for Belters is they can’t live comfortably in an environment with gravity greater than Luna’s- this apparently starts instantly, with them losing a point from Strength and Constitution each day.

Belters live in a democratic anarchy with every Belter voting electronically on every issue via a link to Ceres; this is mandatory, and missing five votes in a row without an excuse can lead to imprisonment or not being able to buy food, air, etc. Otherwise they just independently mine for ore. They also are often hired as gunners and engineers on rocket crews, so long as they don’t spend too long in gravity wells and can maintain a link to Ceres.

Mechanically Belters aren’t great. They have +1 to Strength, Dex, and Con, but -1 to Intelligence and Tech (why?) and -2 to Wisdom and Charisma. Their saves are better, though not as good as the Asterminers- they have a +5 vs. Extreme Cold, but -5 vs. Extreme Heat, +3 vs. Suffocation, +2 vs. Paralysis/Stun/Fall, +1 vs. Explosion/Plasma, but a -1 vs. Electric Shock. Neither is hugely viable as a PC race due to the gravity limitations.



Cadrites come to us via a supplement called The Belt. They were bred by scientists on Pallas apparently as a warrior gennie, with high strength and a servile hive mentality. Their hivemind is apparently based on telepathy, as they know everything one of them knows, and they can only really focus on following the orders given to them by their masters. Should a Cadrite be unable to fulfill their orders they can only sit and shake, and if they’re completely unable to work the hive cuts them off mentally and they die in 1-4 days. They don’t use weapons, relying on their fists, which deal 1d8 damage, and they always get two attacks per round.

There are some weird mechanical inconsistencies with these guys. They get a +2 to Intelligence, but the Monster Manual data lists their intelligence as average. The text says they have a +2 to saves against heat and cold, but the actual saving throw listing gives them only +1 vs. Extreme Heat and -1 vs. Extreme Cold. That, and their listed Strength modifier is only +1. In fact, mechanically they’re again a little weak, with overall more penalties than bonuses. One last interesting feature is their resistance to electric shock- they only take half damage even if they fail a save, and if they succeed they take one-fourth damage.

One last detail is that recently, newly bred Cadrites have been more independent, with a weaker link to the hive mind. The possibility of rebellion exists, which would be, well, a problem.

Also I’m convinced that’s Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner up there.

Three down! These are wordier than I intended but these entries have a lot. Fortunately we’ll be running into some of the box set races soon so those will be shorter.

senrath
Nov 3, 2009

Look Professor, a destruct switch!




Tulul posted:

it didn't reflect actual romantic fantasy (which apparently involves a lot of young women being horribly oppressed by sexism)

So in my limited experience there's a small kernel of truth here, but it ignores that it's less "young women being horribly oppressed" and more "young women rising up against an oppressive system and changing it for the better".

Leraika
Jun 14, 2015

slime time



So, uh, to dance around the subject some, are the reasons a lot of people would be unwilling to play Ctech that aren't the extremely poor mechanical decisions still an issue? It sounds like you had some access to setting stuff.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


senrath posted:

So in my limited experience there's a small kernel of truth here, but it ignores that it's less "young women being horribly oppressed" and more "young women rising up against an oppressive system and changing it for the better".

Jarzon's right there if you want to do this mind.

megane
Jun 20, 2008





By popular demand posted:

Also a magical deer is so superior to just about every system throughout history that its embarrassing.

But how has no one made a Deer Leader pun yet

e: I have this hypothesis, originally constructed for Game of Thrones, that a lot of grognardy media consist in large part of "misery porn." That is, the characters just sort of wander around experiencing how awful the setting is, either through suffering misery, seeing it inflicted on others, or inflicting it themselves. There's little connection to the plot, what the PCs might do, etc., it's just a stroll through a museum of horrible details the writers thought up. It's usually excused as "realism" or "world building," but really it's just filler. Degenesis and CthulhuTech, for instance, both seem to have rather a high amount of this; hopefully Blue Rose is different.

megane fucked around with this message at 23:22 on Apr 8, 2021

AmiYumi
Oct 10, 2005

I FORGOT TO HAIL KING TORG


Leraika posted:

So, uh, to dance around the subject some, are the reasons a lot of people would be unwilling to play Ctech that aren't the extremely poor mechanical decisions still an issue? It sounds like you had some access to setting stuff.
If you mean the over-the-top grimdark, signs point to that not being an issue as bad - the last setting book to come out for 1e was overall hopeful, and the devs’ tone is more the right side of that nihilism meme where “Nothing Matters” is now a sweet 90s skateboard kid.

If you mean the “stop having fun” stance the devs took, frequently, that is also looking better - opening play up to things other than humans and drow, wearing the anime influences more openly instead of fighting back on teenage mech pilots so hard; it remains to be seen, but I think explicitly pulling apart the different tiers of play will help.

If you mean all the bad sex stuff? Uh, gently caress. I don’t know on that one; the presence of player-side Deep One hybrids makes me hopeful, but I’ve got nothing to go on as far as the “lolbertarian sex fantasy” and “rape everywhere” aspects of 1e are concerned. The dev interview mentioned rewriting at lot of the setting that’s cringeworthy in retrospect, hopefully they meant more than just renaming “race” to “ancestry”.

[Edit to clarify: there was definitely a “let’s come together, because there’s way worse poo poo out there” vibe coming across from all the different ancestries - which I am well aware could go either way, depending on how much detail and “making HARD CHOICES” they go into. :sigh:]

AmiYumi fucked around with this message at 23:48 on Apr 8, 2021

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

megane posted:

e: I have this hypothesis, originally constructed for Game of Thrones, that a lot of grognardy media consist in large part of "misery porn." That is, the characters just sort of wander around experiencing how awful the setting is, either through suffering misery, seeing it inflicted on others, or inflicting it themselves. There's little connection to the plot, what the PCs might do, etc., it's just a stroll through a museum of horrible details the writers thought up. It's usually excused as "realism" or "world building," but really it's just filler. Degenesis and CthulhuTech, for instance, both seem to have rather a high amount of this; hopefully Blue Rose is different.

There's a certain kind of nerd that really loves grimdark torture porn, but is just self-aware enough that they've realised other people will judge them for this. So they fall back to the 40K excuse, that it's a justified and realistic reaction to the "sheer gritty reality" of the setting. "Making the setting more realistic" is a cover for adding in more misery and suffering, to justify more brutality and torture-porn as a "reaction". That torture-porn was already going to be written in; the fluff is just there because the author feels self-conscious about it and the playerbase needs something to justify their planned behaviour.

The writers of Cthulhutech really, really wanted lots of onstage rape. So they filled entire volumes with fluff to essentially provide a smokescreen for the parts where they put the rape in. Then they could try and hide it by claiming it was just part of a "dark and twisted" setting that just happened to include rapey bits. But you can bet those bits were written first, and in gleeful detail. The core of Degenesis is Aryan superiority and a big ol' dose of good old racist stereotypes. But the author clearly felt a need to backfill with lots and lots of detail so he can claim he's not racist really.

The reason you then get explosions like Pundit's over the magical deer is that this worldview is remarkably fragile. They know their rear end is showing, so when a setting comes along that demonstrates you might not need the grimdark, they're furious and terrified because that grimdark was serving a very important camouflage role in their own works. That smokescreen was crucial! It was letting them pretend they weren't just masturbating to the human suffering, they were being gritty and realistic.

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

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




I honestly had no idea that there even was a CTech 2.0 in the works.
Can't say I'd be looking forward to it despite being slightly enamoured in the setting when the game first came out.
And then the F&F posts flipped that around. :v:

SkyeAuroline
Nov 12, 2020



Red Markets: a Game of Economic Horror

Part 14: What do you mean I have to pay my bills?

The truest economic horror - taxes and bills. Here we are. So, normally, if I was going over something like this I’d want to talk about earnings before I talk about costs… but earnings in RM key off of costs, so it’s actually more useful to go through it this way. This is where things get tough for Takers. Very tough. Everything you do requires equipment, and everything you do will cost you.
Upkeep gets broken into three categories of varying importance - the most important by far being Sustenance. Pay your one bounty for food and water, or you starve. Pay your one bounty for rent, or you’re out in the Loss - not even “in the streets” in an enclave. Plus, one for every Dependent that we talked about before. So every character’s running a 3-6 Bounty cost between jobs as a baseline.

So you’ve gotta work to make that 3-6 a job. Of course, bullets aren’t free. Neither is physical training, or mental training either - no experience system in Red Markets, just straight bounty spending. Nothing, whatsoever, is free. That’s your maintenance, keeping up with the tools you’ve got and expanding your toolbox.
Upkeep introduces an interesting little wrinkle into the game (albeit one that doesn’t actually make sense in a few places). Let’s say you’re a real generous GM, and you let your players find a DHQS cache - no guns, but you get a quadcopter drone. Great for scouting and for super-light transport, and for Takers going into hostile territory that’s useful, right? It’s less great when you consider that keeping that drone working costs you four bounty between jobs. Every time. Can’t or won’t pay it? You run against a malfunction check, flat Black vs Red (+1 for each bounty you spend partially towards the upkeep) - on anything but a critical success you’re losing any potential upgrades, and failing breaks it or worse. It’s one of the rare mechanics I’ve seen that actively incentivizes players to strip down how much gear they’re keeping stocked around, traveling light and cheap. Best mechanic ever? Maybe not. But it’s a neat one.
Buying equipment and improving skills or potentials are all pretty straightforward each. Gear costs double upkeep and upgrades cost a bounty each; each point of Potential costs 10 bounty, and each rank of a skill costs equal to the rank you’re raising it to at each step. So, they’re potentially big tickets (the highest cost item in the game is the Heavy Rifle, at 10 bounty to buy your own .50 BMG rifle), but skills are easy enough to improve here and there, and most gear runs 4-6 so you can splash a piece or two in between jobs.

Lastly, you’ve got incidentals dealing with the cost of things going wrong. Get cut up in a knife fight, or traumatized by the strain of working in a dead wasteland? Healthcare, please. (Along with a sidebar pointing out there is no free healthcare, even between party members - the supplies still cost something somewhere. Depressing opening of “In Red Markets, where starvation and violent death are slightly more prevalent than the modern United States…”) Healing is expensive - we’re going to get to the combat system in about 50 game pages, but it’s a hit box-based system, each limb + torso as a location, using “stun” and “kill” damage for varying severity. Healing is free… for stun damage, in a single location. Odds are that’s not going to be the case. One bounty per additional location, regardless of how much damage is in there; if you’ve got kill damage, then you need a doctor to convert that to stun, same “one per location”. Oh, and a bribe hazard pay if you’re a Latent, one bounty up front. Gets very expensive, very quick, and boy are you gonna be feeling it. Humanity is simpler but even harder - one bounty recovers one humanity, up to the last Regret (so a max of 5 in a track before you hit a break point). Paying back References is also sorted in here because… well, no better place to put it, but it’s already covered.

So let’s run up a quick estimate with one of the pre-generated characters, Greasy the… well, Grease Monkey. Greasy’s got one dependent, her spouse Pat, so that’s 3 Bounty for sustenance. She gets the Greasemonkey gear package of a shotgun, a toolkit, and a pair of Ubiq Specs (I think Google Glass still hadn’t been canceled when RM released); together, that’s 6 Upkeep. (Every gear package includes upgrades too, but they don’t count towards upkeep.) Before any improvements or any potential harm, that’s 9 bounty down the drain out of every job. The rest of the pregens run around that average, some a bit lower and some higher. That’s all fixed costs, before improvement and incidentals come in - and incidentals can seriously come into play. (Imagine taking even a single box of kill damage to every location - that’s 11 bounty to fully heal back from. Let alone any humanity damage incurred in the process.)

As a quick preview of job pay, to contextualize these figures: the “equilibrium check” that sets Supply and Demand is flat Black+Red, so 2d10 averaging 11 Bounty as a starting point… and without negotiating it up at all, you only get the results of one die. You can potentially negotiate up to get your Sustenance covered, one extra per Taker per leg of the job (3-4 legs appears standard), doubled Equilibrium price, and finally covering equipment upkeep, each at successive improvements on your reward. You will not get those high ones very often as written. That’s a lump sum spread across the group - even on the best of the examples given in the Negotiation section, with a good equilibrium roll the three-person crew is pulling in just over 16 Bounty at the maximum payment! Getting upkeep covered naturally cuts down the costs dramatically, but you can see how these upkeep costs will eat at you very quickly.

Speaking of “eating at you”, it’s time for our next Bust rule, and - like I mentioned at the very end of my last post - the rule that sold me on the game as a “poverty simulator” done right. No Budget, No Buy. It does essentially what it says on the tin. Normally, you have a “bounty bank” you can just stuff your money into, instead of assigning bounty to specific budgets or putting it into your retirement plan. No Budget No Buy rolls into town, and that “bounty bank” disappears. You write up your budget before you leave for the job, for sustenance, maintenance and incidentals alike. (Excess earned after you can cover all three still goes to retirement as normal.) Expect you’re not going to get touched by a casualty because you’re such a superstar Taker? Surprise - you got mauled pretty good, actually. Pull that money straight out of your savings and watch as the fruits of your struggle disappear into unplanned costs. Decide “no, we’re not going to risk it - I’m putting up 5, that should cover everything”, and it turns out you’re not getting hit at all? Congratulations! You made it through unscathed! You set your expectations, and now you’ve got free money to blow… yup, that bounty’s lost. Want to protect yourself? Guess the expenses right, and go get that bread. At the end of the job, when you split the take and actually pay each of these budgets, you’re making a Self-Control check on each thing you couldn’t or didn’t budget enough to cover, as bad luck eats your savings or you’re forced to go without care.

I’m going to let Stokes’ sidebar speak on why NBNB is so compelling to me, because he puts it better than I ever could. Enough reflection of real life to know the accuracy is there. (CC-BY-NC-SA license; excerpt’s fine. I’m also going to convert it to text because he printed the sidebar on bloody graphing paper…)

”Red Markets pg. 228: Why Use No Budget, No Buy?” posted:

In terms of story, the No Budget, No Buy rule represents one of the psychological tortures unique to poverty. Anyone that’s grown up poor can attest that it does strange things to one’s relationship to the very idea of money. The anxiety when things are tight doesn’t go away when faced with a windfall. In fact, it gets worse. For those caught in cycles of generational poverty, wealth’s only perceived purpose is to keep the plates of disaster spinning. Having money means more is going to go wrong; the idea of capital sticking around and accumulating seems, after so many years barely scraping by, simply absurd.
For those caught up in the logic of the vicious cycle, the only way to get any enjoyment out of a sudden surplus is to spend as quickly as possible, draining the coffers before some tragedy does it first. So, for instance, you waste that tax refund on a fancy TV before your car breaks down and “steals” it.
This is a stupid, superstitious way of thinking. But what those that haven’t lived through it don’trealize is that everyone realizes how backwards such thinking is, especially the people trapped in the lower classes. Realization doesn’t stop the irrational thoughts. Consider how many people still knock on wood, throw salt over their shoulders, or perform other superstitious actions despite being normally rational humans. Or compare the concept to addiction: most addicts are aware what is and isn’t good for them, but putting that knowledge into practice is a struggle they are losing.
So, no, realizing that money isn’t a resource to be spent immediately least it be lost to disaster doesn’t stop the irrational certainty that the world works exactly in such a manner. The only thing such a realization does achieve is making a person feel like poo poo.
And that’s why poverty is so nefarious: it never stops accusing its victims of causing their own suffering. Spend big for a little relief? “No wonder your life is in such shambles,” say the oppressor and oppressed alike. Resist the temptation and save? The temptation is still there, nagging at you, waiting for you to succumb and make this moment of self-denial pointless. Meanwhile, whatever work you do for the money only seems that much more unbearable and pointless.
Now imagine that, on top of all this anxiety, zombies were trying to eat you. That’s what the No
Budget, No Buy does to a character.

You get out of the Loss, or the costs of poverty on your finances and on your mind will kill you first. Like it’s billed: economic horror, with zombies to make it less depressing. No Budget, No Buy is what makes that economic horror real.

Next time: the actual Materialism chapter, covering the gear list, refreshes/upkeep, buying/selling, and scavenging/crafting.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





megane posted:

But how has no one made a Deer Leader pun yet

e: I have this hypothesis, originally constructed for Game of Thrones, that a lot of grognardy media consist in large part of "misery porn." That is, the characters just sort of wander around experiencing how awful the setting is, either through suffering misery, seeing it inflicted on others, or inflicting it themselves. There's little connection to the plot, what the PCs might do, etc., it's just a stroll through a museum of horrible details the writers thought up. It's usually excused as "realism" or "world building," but really it's just filler. Degenesis and CthulhuTech, for instance, both seem to have rather a high amount of this; hopefully Blue Rose is different.
I think I get what you're talking about here. There is this sort of unstated idea that miserable/negative experiences or details are somehow truer, or more real/realistic, than neutral or positive ones.

SkyeAuroline
Nov 12, 2020



Nessus posted:

I think I get what you're talking about here. There is this sort of unstated idea that miserable/negative experiences or details are somehow truer, or more real/realistic, than neutral or positive ones.

Juxtaposed with the above... oops.
(I very much agree with that being a driving force in media, at least currently. Go figure.)

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Nessus posted:

I think I get what you're talking about here. There is this sort of unstated idea that miserable/negative experiences or details are somehow truer, or more real/realistic, than neutral or positive ones.

Part of the reason I've been enjoying running Blue Rose is sometimes it's nice to get away from constant violent revolution and struggling against terrible oppression and vicious status quos and just have a tea party and then go on a magic forest adventure.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





SkyeAuroline posted:

Juxtaposed with the above... oops.
(I very much agree with that being a driving force in media, at least currently. Go figure.)
I think it's an entirely legitimate creative choice and it has lots of good reasons to be prominent, both now and historically. But it is a creative choice and at a certain point you are closing off the possibility for positive changes or experiences, especially in an interactive ongoing performance medium like roleplaying games. That may be entirely correct for a certain campaign or a certain gameline, but when it becomes an unquestioned bedrock assumption, it's an anchor.

Also yeah wow great timing, Red Markets

Comstar
Apr 20, 2007

But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Princess Celestia


MonsterEnvy posted:

Arkhan however had already made the jump is part of the Ossiarch army, and so does not need to be updated to Soulblight.

What

So is Arkan dead or not?

I do like how Manfread clowns on his orders - did the not-elves showing up mean the good guys actually won a victory?


It still has no weight though to me,

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Arkhan is gone. He is still playable, tho, for the same reason Anvilgard is - the rules exist, just assume the game takes place in the past.

And yes, the good guys win in all three Mortarch encounters in Act 2.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Night10194 posted:

Next Time: Just what IS Romantic Fantasy? A guy who's never read any tries to describe it using this book as a source!

Admission time: I do read a fair amount of this poo poo, and I like Blue Rose. :v:

It's incredibly out of touch with the prevailing grimdark pessimistic everything sucks misery tourism zeitgeist of the internet in present times, and I kind of love it that way. Blue Rose sets out to emulate a very specific genre of fantasy, and does so with great enthusiasm. Fear the deer.

senrath posted:

So in my limited experience there's a small kernel of truth here, but it ignores that it's less "young women being horribly oppressed" and more "young women rising up against an oppressive system and changing it for the better".

This. It's a very common setup for the protagonists to start in an oppressive system, and to spend the rest of the book kicking its rear end.

Servetus
Apr 1, 2010


senrath posted:

So in my limited experience there's a small kernel of truth here, but it ignores that it's less "young women being horribly oppressed" and more "young women rising up against an oppressive system and changing it for the better".

You can't really have the later without the former. Can't fight oppression if it isn't there.

I've grown to really dislike settings that wallow in the misery like 40K; but I think every gaming group needs to have a conversation about what everyone's limits are while creating/choosing a setting for play. Sometimes no one wants to deal with that poo poo and you just want to chill out in a Utopian Venisonocracy, other time you want to stab a fascist or smash a slaver's skull, or a player wants to have a story that focuses on the struggle against patriarchy or other oppression, and then you need to sort out what everyone's boundaries are.

Servetus fucked around with this message at 02:35 on Apr 9, 2021

Nemo2342
Nov 25, 2007

Have A Day





Nap Ghost

Night10194 posted:

And as I've said before, the potential for comedy is incredible: The deer picks anyone. So you can just be going about your business and then suddenly, you find out the king's dead because there's the deer, choosing your teenage daughter to go off and have a life of adventure in the capital as an unprepared but well-meaning queen with a great deal of growing to do as a person. You were just doing the washing up and now your daughter's a protagonist.

This just happens and I like that. In addition to all other story possibilities, etc.

The last time we let an animal pick our ruler was over in Amber, and we all know how that went.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



Nemo2342 posted:

The last time we let an animal pick our ruler was over in Amber, and we all know how that went.

Actually turned out OK when everyone was completely exhausted by the civil war for the throne and were all "unicorn says Random is the new king. Yeah good enough for me."

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