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Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

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




Hostile V posted:

Normal Prometheans can get sustenance from any organic material regardless of how rotten or disgusting or foul it is. If you get the Acid Stomach merit then you can eat anything as long as you can swallow it. Hair, industrial screws, gravel, spare change, triple A-batteries, airpods...

So what you're saying is that whole tide pod thing was an attempt to expose Prometheans?

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Lord_Hambrose
Nov 21, 2008

*a foul hooting fills the air*


Cooked Auto posted:

So what you're saying is that whole tide pod thing was an attempt to expose Prometheans?

The angry response was just a widespread feeling of Disquiet.

StratGoatCom
Aug 6, 2019

Our security is guaranteed by being able to melt the eyeballs of any other forum's denizens at 15 minutes notice


Someone has to do Shadowrun 6th ed, with a focus on system.

It's not gonna be me.

It's reportedly so impractical that it killed an live entire campaign:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dn1cYgG0bQw

Time to draw lots.

StratGoatCom fucked around with this message at 13:48 on Sep 17, 2019

hyphz
Aug 5, 2003

Number 1 Nerd Tear Farmer 2022.

Keep it up, champ.

Also you're a skeleton warrior now. Kree.
Unlockable Ben
I only needed to read the post about how if someone shoots your armor enough you can go itano circus and fire a pistol 100 times in a round.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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

Night Horrors: The Tormented
Part 9: Skyrim Hand Mod


Thing has a posse.

Scrub Talons are a form of Pandoran that were made by a Centimanus that goes by Hand. Hand likes swamps and experimentation, and he especially likes to toy with appendages, graft them to stuff and home-make them. His preference for symmetry has, in the past, made his silhouette resemble a human-sized hand. Hence the name. He often experiments with making Pandorans to study and control, with little care for reliable results. When he ends up making Prometheans instead, he typically uses them in his schemes or feeds them to his Pandorans. His Pandorans have a tendency to look like limbs, and the Scrub Talons particularly are giant hands, which he thinks is funny.

When dormant, a Scrub Talon looks kind of like a broken tree stump with gnarled roots. Their wooden shell is similar to those of trees dead of disease, but unpleasantly moist and spongy, no matter the weather. From certain angles they resemble warped hands planted in the ground and severed messily at the wrist. The main thing that changes when active is that they move. They can't even try to pass for human, running around on their root-fingers like giant crabs. The wood of their forms moves and shifts like muscle, and their palm has a lamprey-like mouth on it that can open when meat is present. They tend to hunt in packs of three or more, using swarm tactics to defeat Prometheans. Their natural camouflage abilities let them blend easily in natural environments, and they prefer to knock foes over and pin them down to feed. They take turns holding Prometheans down and eating them if required, but most prefer to just completely cover a prone Promethean. A large enough pack may even go after an entire small throng. Scrub Talons are fairly simple for Pandorans, staking out their territory to hide in, swarming and eating. That's basically it. They will relocate if an area gets too much human activity, and they prefer isolated forests or swamps.

Near New Orleans, Hand made a Promethean, known to locals as the Bog Man. He left a bunch of Scrub Talons to guard the project. Hand tends to bring a collection of his Pandoran pets wherever he goes, and leaves some behind once he departs. Scrub Talons can also get places on water or extreme wind - they're much lighter than they look, so they can rely on these to reach new places. Their appearance makes them easily mistaken for twisted debris, and they've actually spread to shorelines the world over in small numbers as driftwood. Some Prometheans believe that the wooden hands are actually a punishment from God for making Prometheans out of non-flesh materials; they are wrong and I have no idea why this "rumor" is in there because it's fuckin' nonsense.

Scrub Talons are very weak Pandorans individually - no match for a Promethean in a one on one fight. The main thing they have going for them is they're pretty dodgy and fast. The problem is, y'know, they travel in packs.


Evil books.

Some Prometheans approach creating more of their own as a science, and one Osiran studied all possible facets of the generative act, using even the most elusive lore. He planned to leave nothing up to chance...but Flux doesn't give a poo poo what you want. His prospective child's skin thickened and became like cardboard, and then fell apart to reveal yellow and off-white flesh beneath, with muscle lined in black, scribbled lines. The body fell apart in chunks, which slithered and flapped away to find a place to nest, forming a soft mass. Their creator wisely fled, and by the time he came back, the swarm had emerged as the Stack.

The Stack can be found nesting in abandoned buildings, usually open to the elements - it especially loves wet, mildewy places. When dormant or resting, it just lies on the floor in a way that resembles a pile of warped, moldy books, their pages fused together. This draws some curious folks in and drives others away in disgust. Occasionally, perhaps on a whim, it arranges itself in a crooked stack or on a bookshelf, especially if it knows food is near. When awake and active, the Stack breaks into bird-sized chunks. Each chunk looks like a ruined paperback or a flapping mass of larger paper and cardboard. Its ragged edges work like talons, and the swarm feeds on blood and flesh from dozens of tiny cuts. It isn't intelligent, but its cunning unites the swarm as a single binding mind distributed over its many small bodies.

The Stack's strange form has led to many urban legends about hauntings and angry spirits hurling debris around ruined, haunted libraries. Its form seems almost designed to draw in curious Prometheans, some of whom absolutely adore old books. After all, books don't feel Disquiet, so many Prometheans love to find abandoned books to have something new to read. The Stack is happy to wait to be brought somewhere private so it can devour prey at its leisure. At least one alchemist has used the thing as a trap against Promethean attack by hiding it in her library. It worked for a time, until the Pandoran got bored and attacked her as well.

The Stack is not especially powerful, as Pandorans go. It's fairly weak, though its speed and toughness are notable. It's not particularly accurate, either, relying on the fact that it fights as a swarm, dealing small amounts of damage to everyone in it rather than trying to go for big attacks. That and its ability to fly are what make it dangerous.


The janitor is very upset.

A bio lab at a university that's under renovation is a very tempting thing for a Promethean - especially if you've already got a corpse in tow and don't have to break into the morgue. When a Frankenstein ran into these circumstances, though, something went wrong. It's not clear what - but the game implies that some kind of mysterious entity, possibly Abyssal, was getting a student to write unnatural equations in the lab that got picked, and that probably had soemthing to do with it. What matters is the Student Project chased its creator out and then took up a watch on the roof. The locals assumed it was some kind of art installation put in during the renovations, while the employees assumed a student had left it there as a prank. Everyone now ignores the Pandoran, giving it free run of the science building.

In its dormant state, the Student Project resembles a wide-eyed caveman statue in a lab coat, with long spindly limbs and knobbly joints - the kind of thing someone might make as a mockery of academics holed up in their offices all the time. When it awakens, its skin tightens and it opens a mouth of vicious, crooked teeth, while its eyes glow in dim light. Its motions are jerky and it makes creaking noises as it goes, as though it is afraid it will tear itself apart if it moves too much at one time. Most of the time, it stands silent watch from the roof, waiting for prey to arrive. It considers the science building its territory and pretty much never leaves. When it does move, it returns within an hour, usually having eaten someone. Despite the obvious issues it has hunting its very limited area, it feels too much of a bond to the building to leave. Instead, it attempts to lure Prometheans to it, taking advantage of its intimate knowledge of the halls to ambush them.

Most humans are willing to come up with plenty of excuses to explain away weird poo poo. However, the Student Project has been in place long enough that people are starting to compare notes and realize no one actually put it there. Sightings of it moving are increasing. Soon, Hunters will likely arrive to figure out what it's doing. The building itself is weird, too - the more you look into it, the weirder it gets. The Project remains active much longer than it should be able to, and even before it arrived, the building had a bunch of urban legends associated with it. Demons, ghosts, the works. Some who've seen the Project think it can teleport...but it can't, it's just really fast and sneaky.

Mechanically, the Project is a relatively weak Pandoran, though it is cunning and has a lot of Willpower. It's fast and strong, but can't take a ton of hits. It relies on its speed and stealth to take care of foes, and would not last long against a group.

Next time: The Dear Monster, the Stormbringer, THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN'T DIE

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!
I HAVE STUDIED ALL THE LORE OF DIVINE FIRE

I HAVE HARNESSED THE MEMORIES IN AZOTH

BEHOLD, MY ULTIMATE CREATION

ZAP

A pile of books start chasing the creator around

Methinks he must have cooked his credentials somewhat, because that is some hilariously catastrophic failure.

Flail Snail
Jul 30, 2019

Collector of the Obscure
I appreciate that "bird" is the unit used to determine the size of individual Stack chunks.

Lord_Hambrose
Nov 21, 2008

*a foul hooting fills the air*


JcDent posted:

I HAVE STUDIED ALL THE LORE OF DIVINE FIRE

I HAVE HARNESSED THE MEMORIES IN AZOTH

BEHOLD, MY ULTIMATE CREATION

ZAP

A pile of books start chasing the creator around

Methinks he must have cooked his credentials somewhat, because that is some hilariously catastrophic failure.

The Divine Fire is ineffable.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 1st Edition

Post 5: The Eternal Sorrow of T 2

So! Combat. Combat is an important part of WHFRP, always has been, and it's significantly more dangerous (potentially) in 1e than 2e. You've always been meant to avoid combat when it's unnecessary, but it always comes up. Grim world, perilous adventure, all that; while people might say WHFRP is D&D through the lens of Call of Cthulhu, Adventurers are considerably more combat capable than Investigators. The single most interesting thing about combat in 1e relative to 2e is how much using a d6 as a damage die changes things compared to d10s. With the d6 damage die and significantly fewer Wounds, every individual wound scored matters a lot more. Moreover, it's much easier to accidentally outpace the damage die, so to speak. To help me demonstrate this, we'll be bringing in our two example PCs from earlier, Gal and Mia. But we'll also be adding the stalwart Thrunbor Grimgison, Dwarven Tunnel Fighter Who Rolled Awesome. This is at least partly because Thrunbor is the most Warhammer Dwarf name possible, but also to demonstrate just how much extra DR and wounds matter, even more than they did in 2e. Thrunbor rolled a 5 for his starting toughness, got Very Resilient as one of his Warrior random skills, has 8 Wounds, and bought his +1 T advance as a Tunnel Fighter. Thrunbor is effectively DR 9 with his shield and armor. He is also angry, about elves, orcs, and many other things.

Anyway, one of the first things that stands out about combat is that true to 80s design, there's a lot on random encounters and their composition and how often you should roll for them. This stuff is completely absent in later editions, because even RPGs that are sort of traditionalist like WHFRP mostly moved away from heavily regimented resource-grind dungeon crawling and overworld travel. This also means the entire beginning of the chapter on combat is about how to randomize position and detection ranges during a random encounter. This is a product of its time, and night vision and its range is heavily valued and carefully tracked here. An elf or dorf with night vision can very much surprise a bunch of humans in the dark. Initiative is not randomized in 1e; you go in order of Init, though a character with a very high Init may choose to act later in the round with complete freedom. None of this 'reserving actions', Gal's 79% Init means he usually goes first, but also that he can freely choose to wait for Mia to move and then act after her or something at no penalty. A higher initiative is meant to be a pure advantage and Init is very desirable.

There is no half/full round action separation in 1e; you just do one thing on your turn. The rules also forbid 'arm wrestling with dragons' or any other 'wildly unrealistic action' as the GM decides. You can follow Moving with attacking in hand to hand if you end up in base to base contact with an enemy at the end of your move. Also note that Moving is very quick; you move 2xMove Stat yards with Cautious movement (used in cramped spaces and things), 4xMove with Standard, and 16xMove when running. Moving at faster rates risks having to make Risk tests not to trip or hurt yourself, depending on circumstances; it's a bit 'GM May I'. Still, someone like Mia is lightning fast, but note also the Charge action is much more restricted: You can only Charge from 1xMovement rate away. This is because Charging gives you bonuses; +10% to the first of your attacks, and if you're using something like a Lance, you get other bonuses. So while a character with open ground can move 4xMove into combat and then make a full attack action, that wouldn't be a Charge and wouldn't get them bonuses besides just moving into combat and swinging away.

Also notable: When using a missile weapon, you only ever get one shot a round. Similarly, there's nothing like Mighty Shot or whatever in 1e. It seems like missiles are considerably weaker in 1st edition than in later games. Guns are also treated as lovely joke weapons, that 'make a lot more noise but don't do much damage'.

One of the really big differences here is that there's no Swift Attack. You make a hand to hand attack, you make ALL your hand to hand attacks. Given how the tyranny of Swift Attack is perhaps the single biggest mechanical misstep in 2e, I'm pretty tempted to just shift that into how 2e works and adapt around it. Similarly, Charging is set up as something you really want to do when possible, whereas for serious combatants in 2e due to action economy reasons, you usually wanted to get Charged and then response with Swift.

1e also has more explicit rules for forcing enemies to flee combat; people who take serious critical hits may be forced to withdraw if they can still walk. Facing is also important; you're assumed to only be able to strike at the front of your model after moving, and shields and parries only apply to people attacking from your front. There's much, much more of an assumption that you absolutely need a combat map in 1e, while 2e's combat can be simple enough to abstract.

One of the biggest changes, though? Even more than in 2e, DR is your main defense. You can attempt one Dodge a round if and only if you have the Dodge skill, making an Init test to avoid a hand to hand attack. You can also Parry once a round, if you have various appropriate weapons (most of them), but it takes up one of your Attacks for next round to do so and it doesn't outright stop the attack, just reduces its damage by d6. Parrying is thus less attractive than it was in 2e, where it can outright stop a blow. 4e went ahead and just made parry one of the default parts of combat, with a significant advantage to characters who try to oppose incoming melee attacks with a Melee skill instead of Dodge since they can score a crit and counter-crit their enemy on defensive rolls. It's interesting how the parry became significantly more and more important as the editions went on.

Another very important difference in combat is that there are no direct outnumbering rules, but rather they are rolled into Winning and Losing combat. When characters are fighting, you total the successful Wounds inflicted during a round between the two sides of combat. The side that did more Wounds 'won'. The losers are then forced back a little ways as the winner desires, and the winner can either follow up or use that to fight free of being engaged. If the winner follows up, all attacks by the winning side this next round are at +10 to hit. You might see the kernel of 4e's weird Advantage rule, but without the possibility of things snowballing; you'd be right to do so. The idea here is also that outnumbering is represented by the fact that you total the Wounds inflicted by both sides. The side with more attackers is more likely to do more Wounds and thus to 'win'.

Another very important point: You can see the origin of 4e using doubles on the percentile dice for crits here in 1e, where it's used to determine when gunpowder weapons and bombs misfire. In general, the more I read of 1e, the more it is apparent 4th edition is primarily working from 1st, not 2nd.

Critical Hits have been around since 1e, and honestly, they've been kind of bad since 1e. Crits have the issue that they have to become lethal very quickly, because the chances are you have to account for being unable to inflict more than 1-3 wounds on an opponent while still being able to finish them off, even moreso in 1e than 2e since your damage die is only a d6. Crits in 1e are also much more random, with more results but also with results varying wildly between what you roll on the percentile die for determining severity. 2e and 4e switch to a simple sliding scale instead of, say, having a 40 somehow be less devastating than a 32 but only if you've inflicted Crit +4 or more and so on. Dropped-past-zero Crits have never really added that much to Warhammer because they're so lethal so quickly, and the system for generating them in both 1e and 2e is clunky and slow. PCs' capacity to survive lethal blows tends to focus more on Fate Points than the crit system. At least in Fantasy Wounds actually work as a buffer, unlike 40k where you just get vaporized.

Now, let's talk damage, armor, and weaponry. These are significantly different than later games; armor is much less effective (though still really helpful) and the d6 damage die changes an awful lot. Similarly, weapons are both simpler and more complex at the same time. Armor is just a simulation of tabletop armor and its direct effect on armor saves. Mail armor? +1 DR. Plate armor? +1 DR. Shield? +1 DR. They stack. Leather armor is mostly worthless, reducing damage by 1 if you were only going to take 3 or less wounds, and not stacking with the metal armors; it's assumed you're wearing padding and leather under any serious armor already. Armor penalties to Init exist, but are purely at the GM's prerogative and are -10 for mail leggings, -10 for plate. Full mail and plate is less of a huge deal than in 2e, but you're not going to be sorry you wore it, and a shield is still quite helpful for the +1 DR even if you never Parry with it.

Similarly, weapons don't really have special traits unless they're described in their entry. Weapons vary instead on their modifier to Parry, their modifier to Damage, their modifier to Init, and their modifier to to-hit. For instance, a Great Weapon gives +2 damage, which is awesome when you're using a d6 for damage, but -10 Init while wielded. Also remember Init is your Dodge stat if you have Dodge. Meanwhile a Rapier is -1 damage, but +20 Init. This leads to situations where, say, a Spear is outright better than a Hand Weapon in combat because it doesn't take a special proficiency, does the same damage, has +10 Init in round 1 and any round you're winning, and gets +10 to hit against aerial foes. Flails do huge damage at the cost of to-hit penalties and needing Flail prof. Halberds are a Great Weapon with all the advantages of a spear, but -10 to hit because halberds are tricky. That kind of thing.

I've mentioned a lot that damage is d6s. There is still Fury, though it wasn't called Fury yet (which is sad, because X FURY! is a great name for a 'pile on damage' rule) and it works exactly like in 2e, save it's explicitly clear all combatants do it. The lower damage die makes it both more common, and more common that someone is going to 'double fury' and keep rolling 6s. Combine that with having very few Wounds comparatively, and you can get splatted by just about any attack with some bad luck. I'm not kidding when a say a badger can be a menace.

Let's look at our three heroes and damage to get some examples. Mia Becker is a very tough human, at 5 T. We'll say she's wearing some light leather armor, too, since she's a Rogue and Rogues love leather in every fantasy setting ever conceived, so she's not totally unprotected, while also having 6 wounds. Our man Gal the Elf has a 2 T, and no armor because he's a poor servant turned warrior of fortune, and being an elf he only has 5 wounds. Meanwhile, Thrunbor is rocking his T 7 (5 base, +1 Very Resilient, +1 Advance), plus 2 points of Armor for Mail armor and a Shield. He's also got 8 Wounds because he is a badass. Note these are all starting characters, right out of the gate. They're fighting Str 3 Beastmen. Each hero takes a hit and their enemy rolls a 6, but doesn't trigger Fury since they fail the WS roll. How do they all do? Mia takes 9-5=4 Wounds, losing 2/3 of her HP. She's in serious danger, but she's still up. She also had pretty good odds of taking 0 wounds, thanks to leather (would've protected her from anything below a 6) and her natural toughness. Gal takes 7 Wounds and an immediate Critical Hit, +2 Severity. He rolls poorly and takes a Critical 9 hit to his body, falling unconscious and bleeding 1 Wound a turn until he gets help; he's basically down, dying, and cursing the low Fate total of elves. Thrunbor takes the hit and...takes no damage. And keep in mind these are all out-of-the-gate possible 0 EXP PCs. Thrunbor is not some super-leveled shitkicker (though he is assuming some drat good rolling).

The lower number of wounds, the higher chance people fury, and the extreme potential variance/outliers in player damage and toughness (A character in 2e is very, very unlikely to have TB 7 for a long time, if ever) makes for much swinger combat, with much higher chances of someone either walking through everything unhurt or dying immediately. I think making outliers in S and T much less likely and more tightly controlling their advance was one of the really important and good ideas in 2e compared to 1e. Similar for making armor a bigger part of the equation and adding a higher variance in the damage die; it's much, much harder to outrun the possibilities on the 2e damage die unless you're talking Chaos Lords, Vampire Lords, or characters with significant runic equipment. Who are all big outliers on the system. An 'average' experienced human in plate (like a Chaos Warrior) has DR 9 or 10; Strength 3 attacks can still hurt that character even without Fury. The larger number of Wounds on PCs also gives you a little more 'give', since every point of damage is no longer quite as significant. At the same time, Wound advances in 1e are much more significant than in 2e; the +8 Wounds on a high level fighter probably more than doubled their starting wounds, while +8 Wounds on the same character in 2e still makes them noticeably more difficult to drop but isn't as significant relative to where they started.

In general, combat fits with the swingier nature of 1e. A lot of the bones are the same, and I find rules like Winning kind of charming, actually. There are naturally lots more rules about various situational actions, but it's also notable that 1e is not that concerned with modifiers; you won't see nearly as many moving parts to track as you'd get in something like 4e. The chart of situational modifiers only has 6 entries, 3 bonuses, 3 penalties, and none are above the -20 for fighting unarmed (which was dropped in 2e, as they decided the lower damage was penalty enough). The hit location stuff in all the Warhammers has always been odd, mostly because it isn't that important unless someone is only partially armored. Crits to the legs are every bit as lethal/crippling as crits to the head, they just have different flavor. It's always slowed down combat and I'm never sure it's ever been really worth it, either.

Still, 1e's combat engine is functional, and you're clearly intended to get into plenty of exciting debates of the sword and axe. It just reflects that fact that compared to WHFRP 2e, 1e continues to have no breaks and to really show off just how insane the gulfs in ability between characters can be.

Next Time: Wizards are not to be trusted

Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado


hyphz posted:

I only needed to read the post about how if someone shoots your armor enough you can go itano circus and fire a pistol 100 times in a round.

I would like a link to this post. It sounds amazing.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Oh, another interesting thing in 1e: Healing skills roll to see if they help you recover, but even if they fail having a doctor around still speeds recovery. 1e characters also recover from simple lost Wounds really quickly, especially with a doctor around. It's only crits that break limbs that take a long time, or crits that cause terminal bleeds. Which then require a skilled doctor to actually help you properly recover from the break or to keep you from dying to complications of blood loss.

Much like 2e, and 4e, you really want a Shallyan initiate/doctor in training/herbalist around. It cannot be overstated how helpful a skilled medic is in every edition of the percentile based Warhams.

hyphz
Aug 5, 2003

Number 1 Nerd Tear Farmer 2022.

Keep it up, champ.

Also you're a skeleton warrior now. Kree.
Unlockable Ben

Omnicrom posted:

I would like a link to this post. It sounds amazing.

Are you sure?

quote:

I disagree on this interpretation, in that there is nothing under the Multiple Attack write up on either the minor action page or the combat option page that requires you to spend a multiple attack minor action for the attack to qualify as a multiple attack. The Minor Action enables you to make one, true. But it is not specified as required "in all cases".

DAD LOST MY IPOD
Feb 3, 2012

Fats Dominar is on the case


Donít Pandorans get forced into dormancy really easily if any normies are around? I am more familiar with 1e, so maybe that was changed.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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

DAD LOST MY IPOD posted:

Donít Pandorans get forced into dormancy really easily if any normies are around? I am more familiar with 1e, so maybe that was changed.

Mostly if they run out of Pyros and there's no Prometheans around.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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

Night Horrors: The Tormented
Part 10: Horror Movies


HIIIII

Summer was made out of love. Her creator was an Unfleshed attempting to make a more flesh-and-blood Promethean, in hopes that her child would have an easier life than she had. She was meticulous in studying weather patterns to do the job during a storm, used a beautiful body and took every precaution she could. In the span of a few hours, it all went wrong. The body seemed to be rejecting the procedure, and the end result was a Pandoran the creator hadn't the heart to kill, which scuttled off with limbs barely attached. The Unfleshed knew her baby was in terrible pain, but she could do nothing to help. She resigned herself giving of her own life to feed the Pandoran - she saw it as her duty, for it was her daughter. She watched as the creature wept in disgust at what it had become. Summer hides in the dark now, yearning to die, unaware that as a Pandoran she will not die naturally.

Summer appears as a mass of glistening arms sprouting from a thin, bony body. She uses them to shovel food into her oversized maw and skull, which is wrapped in skin and fat. Her mouth can easily engulf a child's head, but her eyes are what make her dangerous. They are almost completely human, and they are scared and begging for help. Prometheans that meet her gaze are often shocked and put off balance by that. When shocked or approaching potential prey, Summer tries to hide her face with her large hands, suggesting that she is aware enough of her state to feel pain and sadness, but not in enough control to stop eating Prometheans for Pyros.

Prometheans are often shocked meeting Summer - fatally so, in many cases, given the danger. She is not like a sublimatus, with no malice or anger, and instead seems to be worried about her appearance and how people feel about her. She weeps constantly, making noises that seem to beg for forgiveness even as she attacks. Some speculate that what made Summer's creation go wrong was that the body used was from a suicide - specifically, the suicide of a bullied child. Others say that learning about her body's past might be the key to either destroying her or helping her become an actual Promethean. Summer actually attempts to avoid Prometheans while she is active - until her hunger drives her to attack, anyway. She only goes hunting when she cannot help doing so, and will actively avoid attacking anyone otherwise.

Summer is physically extremely potent, but her mindset makes her easier to deal with. She's weak-willed for a Pandoran and slow-witted. She can fight shockingly well, though she avoids doing so, and has a relatively small healthbar for a Pandoran of her power level. She is, however, extremely hard to hit. Well, on to sublimati!


Scowling angels: scarier than weeping ones?

Astrid the Stormbringer is a legendary sublimatus among European Prometheans. It is said that she is drawn to Wastelands, leading an army of Pandorans and followed by a Firestorm. She is said to be serene in a terrible way, and Pandorans obey her utterly. She remembers her creation, when she was made to devour other Pandorans for the amusement of the Centimanus that made her. She remembers dividing, and having her spawn smashed into glittering bits when feeding them became to burdensome for her master. She fondly recalls her creator's screams when she finally turned on him and devoured him. They gave her purpose. Astrid, you see, loves Pandorans. They are her children, whom all others hate. She believes herself a new sort of pilgrim, blazing a path through the corpses of Prometheans. She has decided that, in order to free Pandorans from oppression, she must kill all Prometheans.

When she arrives in a city, drawn by the power of potent throngs of Prometheans, she slowly awakens all of the city's dormant Pandorans. They obey her not from fear or dependence, but as loving children. This gives her words credence in the minds of some Prometheans - and that terrifies them even more than her unsubtle rampaging. Once she shows up, it is not long before the Firestorm begins. She brings hellish downpours, thunder and tearing winds. It is said that she has ruined entire cities with her sheer power. Once, her frame was a beautiful, angelic statue of marble. The years have taken their toll, and a massive crack runs through her from forehead to lip. Steel rods are all that hold her right arm to her body. Her wings are ruined - one missing entirely. However, she still moves with the gentle grace of an angel, though she feels none of the warmth she gives off. When she deals with Prometheans, she is soft-spoken and polite, and she hates swearing, especially in front of her "children." She ends conversations immediately if insulted, going directly to combat. Some believe her demeanor means she feels mercy; this is not the case. Her caring nature is reserved only for Pandorans.

In a fight, Astrid is brutal and ruthless. She avoids killing Prometheans in battle if possible, however. She prefers to break them down so they can't move. This is her great weakness, and what makes her so human - she genuinely loves her Pandoran servants, and she avoids killing so they can feed. She will fight far beyond what is sane to protect her children, even if they can't control themselves and certainly won't return the favor. She also doesn't hate all Prometheans, quite. She has a soft spot for the Tammuz and Unfleshed, feeling a bit of kinship with them. Those that show compassion towards her Pandoran children or try to help them by making them into full Prometheans will be spared, often. Other Lineages are slain unless Astrid thinks they'll lead her to more of their kind. She can be negotiated with, however, in one sense. If she learns about a Centimanus, that becomes her top priority. She abhors them over all other Prometheans, and will immediately focus on them in an effort to free their Pandorans from their control. She'll ignore anyone else if she has a Centimanus to target. The reason her body is missing so many parts, incidentally, is not battle damage: Astrid will literally tear off parts of herself and feed them to her Pandorans to help them, and will even take to eating human flesh to keep herself going if it means her kids don't starve.

Astrid is insanely powerful and charismatic. She's not the world's best planner or even especially intelligent, but she doesn't really need to be. She's unsubtle in the extreme and prefers to just wade into battle, after all. She is unnaturally good at beating things up, extremely hard to hit, has a huge healthbar and can breathe fire. What else does she need?


THE BRAIN THAT WOULD NOT DIE

Coeus is a sublimatus with a vision. It knows that it will become, and soon. It just needs the right host. It began its existence as an Extempore's failed attempt to reproduce, possibly a complete and utter fuckup and possibly because she couldn't actually do it, as one of the Matchless. Whatever the case, the brain she prepared for her child bored its way out of the body's skull, more cunning than any other Pandoran ever extant. It latched onto its maker's throat, dug into her flesh...but it didn't eat her. Instead, an instinct drove it to burrow into her skull and brain, folding her mind up and replacing it. It drove her like a puppet, studying her journals to better understand its own nature. It learned about Pandorans and sublimati, but not why it had such an amazing mind and such a pathetic body. Without proof, it turned to conjecture, deciding that it was special. It willfully misunderstood the nature of the Pilgrimage, convincing itself that its destiny was to become as a god. Over several months, its creator's body slowly died, and it named itself Coeus, after the Titan of Wisdom, and began what it thinks of as its own Great Work.

Coeus wants to be more than a brain with tentacles. It has no interest in being a mere Promethean, of course, but such a body could be a starting point to a greater transformation. Even a human body would do, if need be. By utilizing its unique ability to implant itself, Coeus steals bodies and performs elaborate self-experimentation and surgery on its hosts, hoping to create the perfect vessel. It works out of an abandoned big rig that used to belong to its creator. By relying on its immense intellect and a few disposable hitchhikers, it has turned the place into a working, traveling dungeon. The hold is lined with traps, serving both as lab and panic room for the brain. It prefers to trap intruders in the lair, but if it has access to a strong body it sometimes kidnaps them on foot. One of its favorite methods is to trap a human a Promethean cares about, stealing their body and ransoming their life for the Promethean's cooperation in finding or making a better body.

Coeus appears as a large, bloated human brain that smells of pus and vinegar, pickled in gray ooze and covered in blue-purple veins. Where the hemispheres meet, it has a long row of crooked teeth forming a mouth-like maw, and the brain stem trails tentacles, so it can move on its own if it has to. when it takes a host, it flattens its form against their shoulders, hiding the signs of implantation with high collars and scarves, though it can't really hide the smell or the ooze stains. It absolutely hates its physical form and reacts violently if its low strength is mentioned. However, it believes itself a superior life form, temporarily trapped in an unworthy body. It will go on about this at length to anyone it believes has no choice but to listen. It occasionally affects a poor attempt at a Mid-Atlantic accent in an effort to appear sophisticated, but when it's angry it reverts to its normal guttural bellows, sounding vaguely like a poorly tuned cello. It has never gone dormant so far thanks to its excellent planning and rationing of Pyros, but were it to do so, it would appear to be a statue of itself made of red-veined porcelain.

Coeus sometimes gets bored and restless in its travels, and on rare occasions it will choose to talk to Prometheans instead of hunting them. When this happens, it is happy to trade specialized anatomical knowledge in exchange for favors. It especially prizes science textbooks and educational DVDs, which it uses to educate itself. It's also prone to pissing folks off, as it's not choosy about its victims. It has hunted psychics before, and it's not outside the realm of possibility that it might grab an inexperienced mage or similar...and they don't exist in a vacuum. Some of its victims' friends are probably on its tail, hunting for answers. It also is never actually satisfied with its hosts. Everyone disappoints it somehow, and while it is a fanatic, it does have limits to its patience. It's starting to wonder if the issue is quantity, not quality. It's making plans to convert its truck into a prison, hoping to find a potent enough Promethean to allow it to undergo division and create a Pandoran 'child.' It occasionally wonders why it's been so lucky in running into Prometheans - it's statistically unlikely how many it's stumbled on. The Pandoran suspects its truck may have a quality that attracts them, but isn't curious enough to find out. It is possible that some essence of its creator remains in the truck, calling out for help via the Azothic memory.

Coeus is extremely intelligent by Pandoran standards - which is to say, Intelligence 4, Wits 9, and so on. It is exceptionally weak, however, and not tough at all. It's pretty fast, but it relies on cunning and stealth if it ever has to fight on its own. It's got the booby-trapped truck, of course, and it's surprisingly well-armored for a giant brain. Most importantly, however, it can stab its tentacles into someone's brain and take over their body. This kills a human victim over a week or two, but Prometheans can last for two to three months depending on how tough they are. It can use its host's stats and Promethean powers, but the body cannot be healed normally (or, for Prometheans, via electricity) because of the strain Coeus places on it. Victims get to make a roll to take control back each week, which lasts for several scenes. The tricky bit is removing Coeus before it takes over again, because it's physically latched onto your brain steam. The roll is not as hard as it could be - Coeus only has a 7-die pool for it, before Willpower spending, so it's actually doable to oppose it, though a typical PC will have...oh, probably a 5-6 die pool, it's one attribute plus Azoth.

Next time: You Must Remember This, The Adversary, the Robot Monster

megane
Jun 20, 2008



I guess humans in White Wolf world are just completely devoid of imagination; every rumor or story anyone has ever come up with, ever, is directly based on a literal actual monster. If you hear some fifth graders telling a story about a crazy pirate with hooks for feet who lives in the woods, then there really is a pirate with hooks for feet, he's probably a centimanus or something. The big dog that totally ate a guy in the eighties, and that's why they closed the camp, my cousin heard them say so? Real. A bookshelf that turns into a lady and steals your teeth? Real.

Halloween Jack
Sep 12, 2003

La morte non ha sesso
That's something I really wanted to talk about, particularly with regard to Vampire. A problem with writing legends and rumours into your setting is that if something is rumoured to exist, it exists. What are you gonna do, say "Nah, that's bullshit" and not take your fans' money to publish a sourcebook about it?

The impending End Times in all of the classic WoD games was a great parallel to the looming sense of dread at the end of the millennium. But having all the legends turn out to be true really messes with the theme. The Vampire developers could certainly have said "Yes, Caine and the Antediluvians are dead. The Jyhad is just paranoia feeding paranoia, a cycle of violence that no one knows how to stop." But that was never going to happen.

lofi
Apr 2, 2018




so far I'd say the monsters are 50/50 between usable and dick moves by the gm - those tree stumps? a monster. pile of books? monster.

Like, they seem to exist just to be a gently caress you to players, just a combat that PCs can't do poo poo to avoid.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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

lofi posted:

so far I'd say the monsters are 50/50 between usable and dick moves by the gm - those tree stumps? a monster. pile of books? monster.

Like, they seem to exist just to be a gently caress you to players, just a combat that PCs can't do poo poo to avoid.

....

Mors?

Is there a Gazeebo Promethean?

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

megane posted:

I guess humans in White Wolf world are just completely devoid of imagination; every rumor or story anyone has ever come up with, ever, is directly based on a literal actual monster. If you hear some fifth graders telling a story about a crazy pirate with hooks for feet who lives in the woods, then there really is a pirate with hooks for feet, he's probably a centimanus or something. The big dog that totally ate a guy in the eighties, and that's why they closed the camp, my cousin heard them say so? Real. A bookshelf that turns into a lady and steals your teeth? Real.

Human imagination cannot survive a world that has a terrible thirst for more stuff to make into splatbooks.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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2014-2018

Kurieg posted:

....

Mors?

Is there a Gazeebo Promethean?

Generally, when Promethean starts to talk about buildings getting mad at you it means the building is on fire, and fire is possibly raining from the sky.

e: also come on how y'all not loving THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN'T DIE, he's the goofiest motherfucker

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Because he's just another random monster like all the rest, mostly. You kinda check out on the 'oh that's a wild concept' train of thought once they try the spooky book monster and show you that 'Pandoran' is 'whatever silly monster we could think up'.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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



Halloween Jack posted:

That's something I really wanted to talk about, particularly with regard to Vampire. A problem with writing legends and rumours into your setting is that if something is rumoured to exist, it exists. What are you gonna do, say "Nah, that's bullshit" and not take your fans' money to publish a sourcebook about it?

The impending End Times in all of the classic WoD games was a great parallel to the looming sense of dread at the end of the millennium. But having all the legends turn out to be true really messes with the theme. The Vampire developers could certainly have said "Yes, Caine and the Antediluvians are dead. The Jyhad is just paranoia feeding paranoia, a cycle of violence that no one knows how to stop." But that was never going to happen.
You could have probably split the difference and said "Yeah, some of the Antediluvians are dead and 98% of this bullshit is due to their actual actions, with the balance being random chance and/or Lilith."

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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Night10194 posted:

Because he's just another random monster like all the rest, mostly. You kinda check out on the 'oh that's a wild concept' train of thought once they try the spooky book monster and show you that 'Pandoran' is 'whatever silly monster we could think up'.

I mean, he's actually got a plan, can talk, and is driving around the country in a giant tractor trailer collecting high school science DVDs in his quest to build the Superior Body.

Halloween Jack
Sep 12, 2003

La morte non ha sesso
Well, that's not an inaccurate description of what they did in the Gehenna book when it came 'round. Depending on which scenario you're playing.

The one "LOL no" that stuck out to me was Set. Yeah, sorry, your eeevil snake religion is bullshit! Typhon is dead, or he's just going to eat all his loyal children for breakfast when he wakes up.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Isn't 'Gehenna was basically bullshit' the beginning of V5's pitch?

Libertad!
Oct 30, 2013

You can have the last word, but I'll have the last laugh!

Night10194 posted:

Isn't 'Gehenna was basically bullshit' the beginning of V5's pitch?

If true, this is one of the few things V5 did right. Several of the Gehennan prophecies are quite explicitly the types of things regressive undead fossils would create as scapegoats for Camarilla problems:

1.) Chinese vampires invading the West, basically Yellow Peril tropes.

2.) Thin-bloods as the harbinger of the apocalypse, aka maligning a social group which has zero institutional power to actually fight back.

3.) Mortal wizards becoming the Tremere and the Anarch Revolt, aka any change in the status quo will DESTROY US ALL.

Libertad! fucked around with this message at 21:22 on Sep 17, 2019

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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

Libertad! posted:

If true, this is one of the few things V5 did right. Several of the Gehennan prophecies are quite explicitly the types of things regressive undead fossils would create as scapegoats for Camarilla problems:

1.) Chinese vampires invading the West, basically Yellow Peril tropes.

2.) Thin-bloods as the harbinger of the apocalypse, aka maligning a social group which has zero institutional power to actually fight back.

3.) Mortal wizards becoming the Tremere and the Anarch Revolt, aka any change in the status quo will DESTROY US ALL.

Yes and No. Gehenna didn't happen but the Vampires are still terrible and the anarchs are revolting and also Thin-Bloods are still horribly maligned.

Rand Brittain
Mar 25, 2013

"Go on until you're stopped."
A lot of the better-written, or at least more realism-focused, Vampire books tended to downplay the Caine mythos, largely because it is almost impossible for it to be literally true and most of the vampire legends are ultimately based on unverifiable bullshit from rear end in a top hat elders.

So it's kind of unfortunate that all the endings in Gehenna had Caine mythos and literally every weird myth vampires told about the early generations be completely accurate!

Halloween Jack
Sep 12, 2003

La morte non ha sesso
It seems to me that Caitiff fell to the wayside as an idea, being replaced by Thin-Bloods. But Caitiff stuck around all the way through the old WoD and into V5.

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

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

Mors Rattus posted:

I mean, he's actually got a plan, can talk, and is driving around the country in a giant tractor trailer collecting high school science DVDs in his quest to build the Superior Body.

I think what feels missing there, to me, is any assessment of whether his plan can actually work. Like what I get from reading it is that it's basically a stupid boondoggle that the metaphysics of the setting have doomed from the start.

Which, honestly, feels kind of like a trend with a lot of the bad guys. Like... they can't ever succeed, the best they can do is to cause a lot of trouble for everyone else while doubling down on their failures. There's no real win state for them. I'm not sure why that bugs me. I guess it just makes them a bit less scary.

Though yes, I do like him as a mastermind(ha ha) of sorts.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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Honestly? He could probably build himself a superbody. He doesn't have the knowledge yet, but it is possible he does it. It's just going to mean killing a lot of people to keep himself from going dormant.

Joe Slowboat
Nov 9, 2016

Higgledy-Piggledy Whale Statements



I personally like that Pandorans, doomed creatures that are the byproduct of failed Pilgrimage, are similarly doomed to never attain their deepest desire (or their desires will never improve their condition) and drag Prometheans down themselves.

Promethean shouldn't really have particularly heightened stakes from big monsters, because the stakes are already perfect: will you attain humanity? Or will you fail like so many before you?

The Brain is great because it thinks it's a super genius and has Int 4 and terrible plans. It thinks the only personal growth it needs is a big beefy body to go with its big beefy brain. It's a living failure mode, a malicious lesson wandering around.

Libertad!
Oct 30, 2013

You can have the last word, but I'll have the last laugh!

Mors Rattus posted:

Nuharul looks ridiculous but it is actually exceptionally strong and tough. While it's only as fast as the fastest human alive, it is over twice as a strong as any human could be, and twice as tough as well. It has inhuman skill at athletics and combat, too. Its great weaknesses are poor Willpower for a Pandoran and its general low intellect. On the other hand, it can dodge bullets, is extremely hard to hit in general, and has a huge healthbar. I don't think I've ever seen a non-spirit with stats quite this high before, actually. Strength 12 and Brawl 6, really?

Mors, you reviewed a helluva lot of WoD books over the years. Of all the various whacked out monsters and weirdness you've seen, what's the most broken creature/option/etc you've encountered?

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.


Grimey Drawer

PurpleXVI posted:

Which, honestly, feels kind of like a trend with a lot of the bad guys. Like... they can't ever succeed, the best they can do is to cause a lot of trouble for everyone else while doubling down on their failures. There's no real win state for them. I'm not sure why that bugs me. I guess it just makes them a bit less scary.

Honestly to me, many of them just feel... sad, because of that.

Libertad! posted:

Mors, you reviewed a helluva lot of WoD books over the years. Of all the various whacked out monsters and weirdness you've seen, what's the most broken creature/option/etc you've encountered?

Sam Haight, pre-ashtray.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
:blizz::gamefreak:
Gauru form 2nd ed werewolves or a demon going loud have the most mechanics going for them. Everything else needs to just be a pile of stats to beat what they get.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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Define broken here, there's...a few different ways this could go down. Are we talking just 'this is stupidly powerful' stuff like Skybreaker, or more in the range of 'this is vastly overpowered for its actual intended role in a game'?

e: for the latter, Beasts in general are up there with their soul-theft Nightmare which is broken as gently caress, but...ugh, I'd have to think about it.

For actual stupidest monster, tho, keep waiting, this book is going to deliver. We are not in the Qashmal chapter yet.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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

Mors Rattus posted:

e: for the latter, Beasts in general are up there with their soul-theft Nightmare which is broken as gently caress, but...ugh, I'd have to think about it.

Don't forget that they can make the soul-theft nightmare contagious.

Or the atavism from the new book that's basically "Start a civilization destroying plague" for one satiety.

Libertad!
Oct 30, 2013

You can have the last word, but I'll have the last laugh!

Mors Rattus posted:

Define broken here, there's...a few different ways this could go down. Are we talking just 'this is stupidly powerful' stuff like Skybreaker, or more in the range of 'this is vastly overpowered for its actual intended role in a game'?

e: for the latter, Beasts in general are up there with their soul-theft Nightmare which is broken as gently caress, but...ugh, I'd have to think about it.

For actual stupidest monster, tho, keep waiting, this book is going to deliver. We are not in the Qashmal chapter yet.

I was going to pick the latter, but you answered it with Beast's Nightmare thing. So let's go with stupidly powerful.

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Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

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

Night10194 posted:

Human imagination cannot survive a world that has a terrible thirst for more stuff to make into splatbooks.
It still does, it's just you aren't going to see that in a book that is explicitly a write-up for more monsters.

If you want vague, maybe-this-is-real-or-a-rumor stuff, there's direct "Rumors" sections for all of these in each book that include misdirection and things people might be saying but aren't accurate, Hunter as a whole is an entire game of figuring out what of the weird lore poo poo you heard about is out there and what's bunk, and both Changeling and Werewolf have sub-factions the PCs can be a part of (Scarecrow Ministry and the Hunters in Darkness as a whole, respectively) who devote a large amount of their efforts (if not their entire raison d'etre in the case of the Ministry) to coming up with weird terrifying poo poo that isn't real, to chase people in the setting away from worse, potentially-unrelated poo poo. Like finding a place where the walls of reality are particularly thin and chasing people away while looking all monstrous to get them to spread rumors about (whatever the hell you looked like) living there, instead of them outright knowing that there's a hole in the world there and stuff comes out.

Another thing I think is necessary for context here is that unlike WoD, CoD books are explicitly presented as a toolkit approach: Only as much stuff is assumed as "canon" to your game as is necessary for the exact thing in front of you to work (hence why one of the Werewolf antagonists mentioned 'if you use Beast, ____' kind of things, there's side-mentions of God Machine stuff without saying 'and this also means angels and Demons of Demon the Descent are real', and so on). So hey, maybe the forests ARE haunted by a weird Promethean stump-monster-maker, or maybe it's just a rumor someone else started. I don't think a book billed as a list of antagonists is going to have "except there's nothing there" as the conclusion, though, sorry to say.

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