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Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder

oMage: Dragons of the East

Over the next six centuries, the Akashics used their ties to Buddhism and Taoism to form monasteries throughout Asia. They were not aware that the Wu-Keng were helping them, for the Wu-Keng wanted a group strong enough to contest the Wu Lung. In 529 AD, the Akashics occupied the Shaolin Temple, and declared that any and all who sincerely sought enlightenment would be welcome, regardless of what they were. From 590 on, the Akashics grew stronger via monasteries, with the aid of the Wu-Keng, and they became like powerful landowners for many peasant vassals. When the Wu Lung regained control of the Emperor in 618, they sacked the Shaolin Temple, inspiring many martial arts legends due to fights between Vajrapani temple guards and Tiger School warriors. Further attacks by the Wu Lung and Stone People destroyed the Shaolin Temple many times. To guard against loss of tradition, the Akashics settled Japan, far from the conflict, where they remained isolated even from the local shaman-queens and Shinto mystics.

From 907 and the fall of the Tang Dynasty to the 13th century, the Asian mages had a fragile peace due to weak emperors providing little chance for dominance by any side. In 1279, the Mongols invaded, with the aid of shamans skilled in overcoming magical resistance. In desperation, Yu Lung ('Jade Dragon') of the Akashics turned to the Yama Kings, learning dark alchemy and using it to infect the invaders with a terrible plague. When he sacrificed his brothers to the disease, his betrayal was revealed, and the Warring Fist helped the Mongol shamans find a cure, driving Yu Lung into exile. In gratitude, the Mongols promoted Vajrayana Buddhism and allowed the Akashics more freedom than either the Wu Lung or Stone People. From 1274 to 1281, Mongol invasions of Japan were thwarted by Japanese Akashics, straining their relations with the mainland Akashics. However, the event that gives the Kamikaze War its name was not caused by any mage, but apparently the kami themselves. The Divine Wind inspired both native and Akashic mystics to band together out of love for Japan.

In 1325, the Stone People attended the Convention of the White Tower, joined by several Legalist scholars of the Wu Lung, looking for allies against the Mongols. The two societies were strained, of course, as the Wu Lung despised the idea of asking for "barbarian" help. Afterward, the Dalou'laoshi migrated to coastal cities and overland trade routes, to better receive western aid from the Artificers. Those that remained helped the Wu Lung take revenge on the Akashic Brotherhood. Enraged by their complicity with the Mongols, the Wu Lung and Stone People used rockets, flying machines and elemental magic to strike at the Warring Fists. This Screaming Ghost Purge would have wiped out the Akashics were it not for the Wu-Keng. A number of peasant rebellions defied Mongol rule, uncontrolled by either the Dragon Wizards or STone People. Only the Akashics were permitted to form ties with groups like the Red Turbans. Thus, when the first Ming emperor took the throne in 1368, he was supported by Shi-Ren aristocrats and Vajrapani guards.

When the Western Traditions came to China, it appeared as though the Akashic Brotherhood was all-powerful, and much to the annoyance of the Wu Lung, the Akashics were the first invited to the Grand Convocation. It just reaffirmed their ideas that the Westerners were fools, especially as all was not as it appeared. The Akashic grip on power was, in fact, a failure nearly as soon as it began. The Wu Lung had surrounded the Emperor with corrupt ministers, and they sent their best to Manchuria to assist the invasion of the Manchu. In 1644, the weak, corrupt and insular Ming fell to Manchurian and Wu Lung troops. The Dragon Wizards had at last taken their vengeance on the Akashics, accompanying the Qing invasion of Tibet to destroy some of the Akashics' oldest strongholds. At last, in 1735, the Shaolin Temple was levelled by the Wu Lung, assisted by shen monks who believed that the Akashics had betrayed their vows.

Sidebar: the Golden Dragon Society. When the Shaolin Temple was destroyed, 18 monks fled to Shi-Ren safehouses. Many formed secret societies to overthrow the Qing and end Western influence. One of the survivors, a Vajrapani monk named Sataghni ('battering ram') fled to Japan. In 1755, he and his host, the Shi-Ren named Kunio Ashida, founded the Golden Dragon Society. As a mage, he gave the group greater purpose than mere nationalism, directing them to fight the Five Metal Dragons "by making their strengths our own". After the Boxer Rebellion and Meiji Restoration, the Golden Dragons used magic and blackmail to control native merchants who dealt with the West. During WW2, they resisted the national divisions that plagued the Akashics, and afterwards, their Japanese and Hong Kong investments gave them control of a bank and several film studios in both West and East. Originally, they planned to use these for propaganda, but they rationalized leveraging them for further acquisitions by arguing that any business they owned was out of Syndicate control. They seized other assets from the Technocrats, and their roots included criminals and revolutionaries. From there, they grew to control a major Triad, two Yakuza gumi and more. In the early 1990s, the Golden Dragons found that the Syndicate had special arrangements with Pentex, discovering that Pentex was a front for a hitherto-unknown magical society which did not fit the Technocratic paradigm. On the eve of their strike against these "followers of the Centipede", the Asian currencies collapsed, striking the Golden Dragons a terrible blow. The home of their dragonheads, Doissetep, was destroyed. In 1998, they jettisoned their remaining corporate holdings and reorganized, focusing on their old standby: organized crime. Today, Shi-Ren and Vajrapani make the backbone of the Golden Dragons, though mages outside those sects or the Akashayana as a whole are sometimes recruited. Even weakened as they are, they remain one of the largest criminal organizations in the world, and few outsiders understand how completely entrenched they are in the Asian underworld. Many Kannagara, Jnani and Li-Hai would be quite distressed if they found out.

Thus began the Fifth Age. With the help of the Stone People, the Qing made some of their predecessors mistakes. The Stone People hid the realities of colonial trade from the court, and instead of the expected tribute, the Qing received gunfire and opium. During the Boxer Rebellion, the Wu Lung and Akashics agreed to a truce to face their common foe. While the British guns were bad enough, the Dalou'laoshi reorganized into the Five Metal Dragons, bringing the might of the global Technocracy into their midst. In Japan, the Metal Dragons brought guns and revolution after Commodore Perry's expedition, and colonialism tightened the Technocracy's hold. The Wu-Keng merely noted the changes and ensured that things would be favorable for them. As Hong Kong was handed to the British and the Christian Taiping Rebellion was suppressed, the Wu-Keng felt things were going well. While the Japanese stormed Manchuria and Allied bombs struck Wu Lung strongholds in Asia, they prepared to take China. When World War 2 pitted Japanese and Chinese Akashics against each other, the Wu-Keng prepared to enter the vacuum they left and bring back the old ways. They gathered a force to eliminate the Wu Lung once and for all...and that's when something unexpected showed up: Communism.

Technocratic elements in the Communists destroyed the army of Zhen Di, and the Wu Lung fled to safety. The ancient ways were repressed, but so were the Technocracy's favorites, as the educated were sent to factories and fields. Wars with the communists in Korea, Vietnam and Cambodia allowed the Five MEtal Dragons to test new technologies, but they did nothing to assist either side. After setting events in motion, they just watched and waited. Now, many believe the Sixth Age has come, though few can agree on an exact date for the Turning of the Wheel. Rapid economic development has sent the Five MEtal Dragons to supremacy unequalled by Tradition or Technocrat. The Chi'n Ta have been broken. The Akashics backed a failed quest called the Ascension War. The Wall has become a barrier of screaming souls, separating the Wu Lung from their Emperor, leaving a child and a troubled general to lead in his place. The Wu-Keng face final damnation as they try to drown the one remaining hope. Each faction has learned to go without the influence they once wielded so freely, and younger mages concern themselves only with their immediate situations, trying to apply the ideals of the past to mere life, not conquest. Without conspiracies, that's all that's left.

Now, specifics! The Akashic Brotherhood have long been misunderstood and stereotyped by the Nine Traditions and other Chi'n Ta. They can be anything from modern samurai to pacifist monks, giving the impression that they hold together only for convenience. Nothing could be less true. Change is rocking the Brotherhood. The destruction of Concordia has left the Shi-Ren and Vajrapani without their powerful leaders and resources, while the Wu Lung prepares to join them - filling a gap, but leaving the Akashics wary of their old foes. Balance may not come without change, but the Brotherhood still struggles with the new realities after the end of the Ascension War. Few understand or agree with their ideals, but all respect their power. Whether it is their mastery of martial arts or their ability to reshape minds, their secrets come at the price of total dedication with little guidance. Enlightenment opens in the heart, and the masters of the Brotherhood do not like to meddle with it for fear of harming their students. The price is great. Some Brothers mistake emptiness for corruption and take the path of Yu Lung, while others quit or go rogue. The self-reliant who remain gain personal power or understanding with a dedication few can match.

Like many, the Akashics claim to be the oldest magical society. Each sect has their own distinct rites, but the Akashayana are more than an alliance of convenience. They preserve secrets that may even predate the First Age. In the last world, they claim, an entire people performed a mass Ascension. When the world was destroyed, they were preserved at the summit of Meru, the world mountain, and vague memories of this perfect village are the basis of legends of Shangri-La and Shambhala. Unfortunately, Meru's bliss was ended when material desires tempted the shen from their duties. The Wan Xian hoarded Chi and the hengeyokai slaughtered the innocent, and even the enlightened became enamored with the Five Elements. Some worshipped shen, or others talked of a Jade Mother or Lord of Heaven who had secrets worth ripping from the stars. The pleasures of earth made them fear liberation, and they began to talk of eternal souls that could sustain pleasure forever. Blindness and greed took them, and they forgot how to summon fire or grow rice. The Meru'ai felt compassion for these masses, taking the Bodhisattva Vow and delaying their final liberation until all could be saved. This could not be reversed, and the Wall arose to seperate mortal illusion from divine truth, allowing the Awakened to return to samsara.

The Brotherhood's teachings influenced mortal sages, but other mages were resentful of their antimaterialism, for they used the lie of self to gain great power. In India, the Akashayana found priest-kings who engineered the karma of their subjects. The Akashayana were horrified, for under this system, a slave in one life was a slave in all lives. The Himalayan Wars that followed saw their foes become the Euthanatoi, while the Brotherhood, seeking the purge the karmic stains of the violence, embraced many teachings. The original sects of Vajrapani, Kannagara and Jnani were joined by Shi-Ren, Li-Hai and others.

After Bodhidharma expelled the vampires from the Shaolin Temple, the Kannagara made it their headquarters. They believed in the Bodhisattva Vow, and they opened the temple to all beings that sought enlightenment. Despite Wu Lung attacks on it, the Brotherhood prospered, and when the Mongols invaded, the Jnani made peace with them and undermined efforts to invade Japan. By the fall of the Yuan Dynasty, the Akashics were the most potent magical society in the East, and thus first to be invited to the Grand Convocation. However, the Brotherhood-supported Ming were soon undermined, as we know, and the Vajrapani and Shi-Ren used the Shaolin Temple as a rebel stronghold. Warring Fist 'monks' battled the Qing and Wu Lung, but were eventually defeated by the betrayal of the Temple's shen, who felt the Akashayana betrayed their trust by using the Temple for worldly gain. The Shi-Ren formed secret societies and the Vajrapani went to Okinawa.

By 1900, the Technocratic threat put an end to open war between Akashic and Wu Lung, as both sides supported the Boxer REbellion. Unfortunately, the Five Metal Dragons existed, and neither the Brotherhood nor the Dragon Wizards were ready for their betrayal of their own people. They found that their magic failed against the rifles of their foes, and the paradigm had changed. Later wars nearly tore the Brotherhood apart, as the Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Tibetan arms of the society were divided against each other. In 1950, the Kannagara Jou Shan ('Gentle Mountain') came out of his seclusion and united the Akashayana with the goal of spreading their teachigns in the West. Today, the Akashics struggle with their new allies, the Wu Lung, as well as increasing rivalry between the monastic and secular arms of the group. The politicians and samurai chafe under a priesthood they feel is increasingly irrelevant to modern life. The Wu Lung, with no love for the monks, are aggravating things.

The Akashayana hold that materialism and selfishness bind humans to Samsara, their conception of the consensus. This creates suffering and disharmony. By practicing Do, living in balance with Akashakarma and acting in accord with the Drahma, the Brotherhood can free themselves from Samsara's chains and transcend the self. Drahma is the Yang principle, a contraction of Draladharma, a Tibetan or Sanskrit term that means 'the law of transcending the enemy.' Doing Drahma means acting with best moral intention without pitting force against force. Ideally, an Akashic practicing Drahma has no enemies, for she never prevents the foe from acting. Instead, their aggression earns karmic penalty without causing harm to her. Similarly, every problem has an efficient, ethical answer, provided you act without selfishness and let yourself become one with the task.

And...I'm sorry, they literally call it Drahma, that's ridiculous.

Do is the application of Drahma (:rolleyes:) to the mind and body. While the martial applications of Do are great, it is meant for any activity engaging thought, emotions and actions. The student becomes sensitive to Yin and Yang and their diffusion into the elements, adapting their actions to complement the world. By losing yourself in action and becoming part of the Tapestry, your actions gain immense power, becoming a manifestation of the Wheel itself. This doesn't mean they're always gentle, of course. In combat, the Warring Fists "naturally" strike their foes' openings with great power. The Brotherhood takes few outside students of Do, who must show impeccable discipline and character. Further, they must be able to incorporate the Akashic paradigm into both mundane and magical action.

The Akashayana learn to read the impressions of thoughts and actions on the Tapestry. This is called Akashakarma, and it guides the Tapestry as riverbeds guide rivers. An Akashic can most easily sense traces of Sangha, though a potent Resonance of any source can sometimes be stronger. The Record can be sensed by an Akashic who empties themselves of egotistical concerns, and in this way they share the thoughts of other Akashayana, learning to yield and redirect the forces around them. This manifests as intuitive leaps, bursts of knowledge and, rarely, potent visions from past lives of other Akashics. By chanting mantras and sutras, reading sacred texts and writing in Kaja, you break the barrier between your thoughts and the Tapestry. Combining these with meditation to empty the conscious mind opens impressions of Akashakarma to you. Communion with the Akashic Record is the simplest application of this, and with greater enlightenment you can even reach beyond Sangha, sensing all minds and deeds.

Sidebar: The Tao Shih, the practitioners of Do, use their skills for more than magic or combat. They learn to incorporate metaphysical forces into everyday life. Optionally, they may spend 1 Willpower to roll Do to add success to another Ability they have, so long as it's one of Athletics, Awareness, Dodge, Enigmas, Etiquette, Intuition, Leadership, Medicine, Meditation, Melee, Stealth or Survival. The difficulty is the same as normal, but you can't spend another Willpower for an automatic success. The ST may add other Abilities to the list, but they can't ever involve high technology like guns, though the ST can bend this rule if you really, really want to play an enlightened motorcycle repairman. Yes, they call that out specifically.

Next time: Akashic sects and magic.


Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006

Selachian posted:

In many ways, TORG feels like a reflection of DC Heroes, probably because Greg Gorden and Ray Winninger were leading designers on both. Both games try to measure everything in game units (APs in DCH, "values" in TORG) and use a logarithmic scale. Both games use exploding dice, although DCH uses acting stat vs. resistance on a chart instead of stat+skill. Both games use a Subplot system. And unfortunately, both have a system of bennies that can be used for either in-game bonuses or character advancement (Hero Points vs. Possibilities).

Winninger's Underground is the same way: values and measures, logarithmic scale, exploding dice, stat+skill, burning XP to change the world around you.

That reminds me, I need to get back on that horse, soon.

Dec 12, 2011

I'm impressed the author kept the Kamikaze as separate and not caused by the mages.

Apr 21, 2010

I'll have you know, foxes have the finest call in nature

Wapole Languray posted:

Most rad. If anybody has monster/kid ideas, I'll be making some characters after I do the Monster chapter to show off character creation. Hence, why I wanted some form-fillable character sheets. I'm trying to not make more than one post a page, so forgive if I Monster Spam, as I'm trying for a chapter a day. Remember that there are three other sourcebooks I'm doing after the corebook, Bigger Bads which is new rules and a pseudo-Monster Manual, Curriculum of Conspiracy which is a setting/adventure module type book, and Strange Secrets of Candlewick Manor, which is almost a standalone game on it's own.

I can only provide the imaginary monster friend I had myself as a kid! He was an alien secret agent from another galaxy, and also a human-sized green ant, and also a swole dude. He would steal all your pencils :3:
This is really the best game

It looks like a match made in heaven for ORE's sometimes excessive simplicity, too.

Nov 10, 2012

Sorry for the weeklong hiatus, but here it is!

Tribebook: Black Furies

Chapter 1 Part 2

“Greece” begins with this:


The Titans, progenitors of the Greek pantheon of gods, were all nearly perfect beings: they sprang from the marriage of earth and sky, literally Gaia and Uranus (probably some incarnation of the Patriarchy spirit, or maybe the Namer himself, I don’t know – you have no idea how much of this stuff I’m making up as I go.

:allears: Never change, Black Furies, never change.

The narrator then goes into hysterics about how Uranus imprisoned the Titans underground, i.e. THE WOMB. The Titans, either superpowered humans or spirits according to Black Fury lore, freed themselves and ruled over Greece in an age of peace and prosperity. Zeus overthrew the titans, imprisoning them in the Underworld (remember, THE WOMB) and took over. The Black Furies are not fans of the Olympians, as Zeus is a sky god, which is bad, I guess. But, they also believe Luna took the form of Artemis and tried guiding them.

In the Trojan War, the Greeks want to take back Helen from Paris (the narrator finds it necessary to remind us that Paris is person, not a city :rolleyes:.) However, there’s no wind! They need to make a sacrifice to Artemis, so Agamemnon chooses his daughter Iphigenia. The wind takes them to Troy, where they win and come home. Clytemnestra, Agamemnon’s wife, is angry about her daughter’s death, so she kills Agamemnon. Now, this is from the Orestia, which I haven’t read. I have read the Iliad and the Odyssey, though, and from those this doesn’t sound quite accurate. Then again Aeschylus wrote the Orestia, not Homer. If anyone knows more, feel free to chime in.

Back to the story, Orestes, Agamemnon’s son, kills Clytemnestra, believing that she just wants to continue an affair (the story I remember). The Black Furies (in the original the Furies) chase Orestes around the Aegean until he goes to Athens for judgment. Athena (a sky goddess) finds him innocent. To mollify the Furies, Athena appoints them as justice keepers in Athens, becoming the Eumenides, or the Kindly Ones.

The Black Furies have a different version! Luna sent Agamemnon an omen to protect him from the Trojan War. Agamemnon misinterpreted this as a need for sacrifice. Athena’s a jerk :hist 101: (a sky goddess, virginal(!), and “she sprang from the head of her father,” which is totally antithetical to the Black Furies’ Goddess concept), and valued the life of the father over the life of the mother. She didn’t grant the Furies their authority; they took it. In hunting down all criminals against women, they created an age of peace.

On to another myth! For thousands of years, Luna/Artemis was the Black Fury totem. The spirits of the Gorgons served her, except for Medusa, who lived for thousands of years. Medusa did eventually die, and Luna created Pegasus out of her corpse. Athena, out of jealousy, sent Bellerophon to tame Pegasus. Bellerophon fought with Chimera and the Red Talons (even though the Stargazers have Chimera as their totem, not the Red Talons), and so did the Black Furies. Eventually, Pegasus recognized Bellerophon as a glory hound, and so fought against him. Bellerophon had Pegasus gelded, which pissed it off even more. It killed Bellerophon, and told the Black Furies to never obey a man again! And also to stop killing male metis. Pegasus has no gender (:rainbowdash:), so that works for the Furies.

Bible Times! The narrator doesn’t like them. This whole section is :smug:theism incarnate. Old Testament days were barbaric, and the Glass Walkers allowed it to be so (remember, both the Glass Walkers and patriarchy are tools of the Namer). Adam named(!) Eve, in so doing using Weaver magics to destroy womanhood forever! They take great issue with Lot. It turns out that the Black Furies destroyed Sodom.

Sister Mary Windhowl of the Order of Our Merciful Mother (:haw:) agrees with the narrator’s summation of Bible Times, but brings up various powerful women of the Bible. Deborah led Israel in Judges, and various strong mother figures prevail. She doesn’t talk about Esther, though, even though that’s my favorite Veggie Tales episode.

They don’t object to the New Testament.


That Christ fellow sounds like he wasn’t an altogether bad guy.


He is a martyr though, and martyrs are dumb! Suffering for suffering's sake is bad!

Dark Ages! I guess we’re not talking about Rome conquering Greece and co-opting its legendry. Okay. Christianity, with its mixture of Patriarch worship and “good stuff” spread across Europe, replacing the old sky god cults. They eventually took up violent conversion. The Black Furies fought back, usually with passive aggressive tactics like stealing their livestock or ruining their crops. They would also attack priests or conversion parties that captured “wise women” of villages and turned people away from the worship of Gaia. The Church was an incarnation of the Namer, the Furies’ gravest threat. I'm sure tons of angry teens did tons of werewolves kill :catholic: games as a result.

This is about when the Order of Our Merciful Mother began. A Black Fury kinfolk became a nun, and was a devout follower of the Virgin Mother. A pack of charitable Furies learned of the abbey, and pledged themselves to it as well. The new Order became influential in the church and steered Catholicism to revering the Virgin Mary. Other camps were unenthusiastic about the Order, but a Freebooter crone pack (the first we’ve heard of the crones, by the way, but certainly not the last) arranged a peace agreement between them. The Order survives to this very day, so you too can play a werewolf nun. :black101: This alone saves this book, and I won’t hear anything to the contrary.

The Black Furies then talk about Islam. Under Islam, women were property and were oppressed, with limited opportunities for divorce, property ownership, or testimony. The Black Furies fought in the Crusades against the Muslims to liberate caerns. This section could have been much worse, so I’m grateful that this section is really short.

Thoughts: Now we’re getting into it! The Black Fury mysticism and milieu is on display here. We have some good philosophical/anthropological hooks with the sky gods. I joked about them earlier, but it does make sense that the Furies would see them as manifestations of the Namer. Often, sky gods are creators and guiders of civilizations and laws, and so the primitive anarchical ethos of the Black Furies would find that offensive. The obsession with caves is also pretty nice.

I’m obviously not a fan of the :smug:theism, but werewolf nuns are loving hardcore and I love them.

Next time: Witches! Native America! Hopefully Modern Times and the end of Chapter 1!

pospysyl fucked around with this message at 01:09 on Apr 19, 2013

Wapole Languray
Jul 4, 2012


Time for the juicy mechanical meat of any game, the Conflicts. Now, Conflict in MaOTC doesn't just mean fights, though obviously that's a major part of it. The system also does emotional Conflict. The difference between a Conflict and a normal Test, is that conflicts cause Damage.

Now, Conflicts are split into Rounds. Rounds last, in universe, a few seconds, long enough for all parties to do a single action, in general. Rounds are split into three Phases

    Phase 1: Declare Everyone Declares their action for this round. They do this in order, from lowest to highest Brains+Out-Thinking pool. This means that the person with the highest Brains+Out-Thinking knows what everyone else is going to do that round before they say what they're going to do. What you declare to do determines what dice pool you'll use for the roll. This is also where you can declare Multiple Actions. To take multiple actions, you drop one die from your pool per extra action. If you use multiple different pools, you drop the dice from the smallest pool. This is really goddamn hard and definitely a desperation thing, not a normal action.

    Phase 2: Roll Everybody rolls their dice and pick their sets.

    Phase 3: Resolve From highest Width to lowest, resolve the results. If you take damage before you get to resolve, you lose one die from your best set. This means you don't have a match anymore? Your action fails. This means speed actually really matters, and a fast enemy can basically stunlock you if you don't have wide dice pools.


Damage in MaOTC comes in two types, Shocks and Scars. Shock damage is temporary, light, short term damage. A punch in the nose, a particularly biting insult, a sprained ankle, and most “normal” injuries or emotional distress is Shock damage. Scars are the serious things. This is long-term borderline permanent damage that you want to avoid like the plague. Scars are caused by things like gunshot wounds, broken limbs, getting laughed at by the entire school, and other devastating injuries.

Both types of damage use the same formula, Width-1 is your damage, so the minimum you can do is 1, with a maximum damage on any single roll of 9. This is on a pure roll, mind, with other factors like weapons and Monster powers, these numbers can vary much more.

Now, I have to address emotional damage. For a kid, words can be worse than a million punches. Have you ever been made fun of so bad that you couldn't move? Have you been so angry that your hands wouldn't stop shaking? Been so embarassed that you just completely shut down? Words are the real weapons among children. Grownups are immune to emotional damage, unless they have a Relationship with the attacker. Some random guy on the street calls your Dad a jackass and he's not going to give a poo poo. His boss tears him a new one, yeah, that's some damage. In emotional combat knowledge and numbers are weapons. The more people who witness your emotional annihilation, the more damage it does. Likewise, the nastier and closer to home the insult, the better. A particularly accurate insult could even count as a Scar.

Emotional damage has a special interaction with your Monster that, once again, I'll cover in the Monsters chapter later.

Getting Hit

When an attack is successful, it “hits” one of your character's stats, depending on the height of the set.

    Feet 1-2
    Guts 3-6
    Hands 7-8
    Brains 9
    Face 10

When you get hit, take the damage worth of dice away. If the attack does more damage than the Stat has dice, the leftover damage rolls up or down one step, until it reaches a Stat with dice in it.

If any three of your Stats get reduced to zero by Shock damage, or one of your stats gets zeroed out by Scar damage, you're Freaking Out. You make a Guts+Courage roll, and if you fail, you Freak Out. This means you either go nutso and start attacking the nearest thing, run away in screaming tears, or you go catatonic and curl into a ball, player choice. Notably, normal people, people that don't have regular experience with the supernatural, automatically have to make a freak out roll the first time they see a monster attack in an encounter.

You can also make a Called Shot by dropping one of your dice from the attack pool to set one of the remaining dice to whatever number you want. You then roll the rest of the die as normal. This will guarantee you have at least one die targeted at the location you want.

In another nice touch, the book flat out tells you to role-play your damage. Don't just lower a number and act like you're totally fine up until you collapse. If you take damage to your hands, role-play it! Did you get whacked so hard it dislocated a finger? Sprained your wrist? Did an insult make you so angry your hands won't stop shaking? Make your character more than just a paper full of numbers.

Loss and Consequences

You are out of the Conflict whenever you either fail a Freak Out roll, or when all of your stats are reduced to zero. What exactly happens is up to the player and GM to work out, but you're no longer allowed to participate in the Conflict.

After the Conflict is over, all Shock damage to a stat heals, minus 1 die. This die of remaining shock heals after a few hours to rest and recover, or after a quick healing event (getting patched up by the school nurse, getting a pep talk from your best friend). Scars don't recover at all without professional attention. If under appropriate care, you recover one Scarred Die a week, however, one of the Scarred die is permanently gone. The only way to get it back is with Character Advancement.

Worse, if you get a Stat knocked down to 0 by pure Scar damage, it is permanently lowered by 1. You can never, even through character advancement, get that lost die back. Get your Guts reduced to 0 by nothing but Scar damage, and you now can have only a max of 4 Die in that stat. Happens twice? Congrats, now you're down to 3 Die max.

As you can see, combat can be nasty. So, how do you prevent that sorta thing?

Stopping the Stuff I Just Talked About From Happening
Defending works the same as declaring an attack. You say you're going to defend, then roll the appropriate Stat+Skill combo for whatever you're trying to do. Trying to dodge an insult with Feet+Dodging? Great, you still got insulted and you look like a spaz. Should have rolled Brains+Out Think to come up with a witty retort. Defenses need to be tailored to the attack. If it doesn't make sense for the defense to actually defend against an attack, it doesn't do anything.

If you DO roll a defense that does something, then you compare your width and height to the attacker's. Your Defense roll must have equal or greater Width AND Height to stop an attack completely. If so, then every die of your set, “gobbles up” a die of the attacker's set. If you get rid of enough die to break the match, then the attack does nothing. A single defense roll can defend against multiple attacks, as long as you have Die to “gobble” with.

While your Defense roll's Width must be better than your attacker's, your Height doesn't have to be. If you have less Height than the attacking roll, you get a Flinch. This means you get to change what location the guy hits, up or down the difference between your Widths. No avoiding the damage, but you do get to determine where you get hurt.

You can also Cut and Run if things are going bad. Make a Feet+Dodge roll. Your opponent get's in a free attack while you beat feet. If you fail the roll you're hurt and still in the fight. Succeed and you've ran like a chicken-wuss and are out of the Conflict.

Great, Now I'm On Fire (This is legit the real section heading from the book)

Special attributes and status effects! Certain weapons and attacks have special extra's added onto them that make them special nasty. Let's see what they are!

    Aiming For every level of aiming, you can delay an attack for up to that many rounds, and that attack gets that many die extra to its pool.

    Area Every level of area gives an attack 5 feet added to it's radius. Anybody caught in the attack rolls the Area level as Area Dice. These indicate hit areas, and you get one shock per die. You can dodge the attack with a Feet+Dodge roll, which if you beat the Height of the main attack, you reduce the Area dice by the doge rolls Width. The dodge roll must be declared like any action.

    Burn You take a point of Shock at the end of every round you're On Fire from the area attack. Mind, it could also be acid, nanobots, flesh eating fungus, whatever. Guts+Courage roll of difficulty 6 to put out the burning thing. Otherwise, you have to do a Guts+Courage anyway to not just run around screaming in pain.

    Gnarly Every level of Gnarly adds one to the attack's damage.

    Spray Spray adds one die to your attack roll for every level. If you use a Spray weapon to take Multiple Actions you can divide the multiple attack sets between several targets if they're close enough together. Everyone attacked needs to make an immediate Guts+Courage roll, fail and your next action is to run to cover.

    Wicked Fast Add Wicked Fast levels to your Width when determining the order of attack. They do not add onto your Width for damage, or anything else, just speed.

Other Stuff That Hurts

Sometimes you get hurt by something that isn't another person/Monster/Alien/Robot/Whatever. These are rules for those things.

    Falling Down One Area Die of damage per-five feet in the fall. Over 20 feet cause Scars if you hit something solid at the end. Feet+P.E. To absorb some damage, at 1 die of damage per Width in the roll. If you make the absorb roll, you can choose to put all the damage into your Feet.

    Crashes Beep beep smash. Every 10 mph is one Area Die of damage. No seatbelts or safety devices make the damage scars. Buckle up or otherwise are protected? The damage goes down to an Area Die per 20 mph and it's Shock.

    Bad Sushi(Really the name from the book) Poison, drugs, nasty stuff you stick in your gob. They have a Potency and an Interval. Interval is how often you take the damage, in rounds or time, Potency is how many successful Guts+Wind rolls you must make to shrug off the poison. You can only roll when the Interval comes up. All poisons do only 1 damage, Schock or Scarring depending on GM, to your Guts. When your Guts hit 0 it goes to your Face and moves down the Hit Locations from there.

    Finding Out You're Adopted (Once again, quote from the book) Shocking emotional revelations. Guts+Courage against a GM set difficulty. Any Relationships involved get their dice added to the opposing dice pool. Opposing pool's Width-1 damage from failure.

“I’m gonna bite his face off!”

“Calm down! We’ll figure this out, we’ll find a way—”

“Kid, you got to realize something. Sometimes there just ain’t no talking to be done, and no matter how much you want things to be nice and happy and peaceful and fun, sometimes you gotta take it hard and fast to the bad place, and do something you don’t want to do. Something BAD to somebody else.”
“You make it sound like it’s something you regret.”

“Hey, I never said that. I’m totally digging on getting my chompers around that scrawny snake and chomping down like he’s a spicy Thai noodle.”
“I think you’re too into this. I’m just going to talk to Dan, and we can work something out.”

“Working things out is for big sissy girls. Growing up is all about being a man, and according to TV, what men do when bad things are going down is to race around talking on their cellphones and beating up the bad guys until they find out where the bomb is hidden. But they only have 24 hours to do it, so they never pee.”

“That’s just TV! That’s not what its like to be a man. Dad never does that stuff.”

“And how much do you respect your old man? If he whacked more terrorists, you know you’d love him more. But he pees way too often. He’d be in the can when the bomb went off.”

“You’ve taken this one to a strange place. Stranger than usual. Like, I didn’t even know you liked Thai food.”

“Spicy Thai noodles with basil is awesome. There’s this dumpster I like to hang out in on Saturday nights around 2 in the morning. They toss the old noodles in around... hey, now who’s getting off topic? Are we going over to Danny Boy’s house for some payback or not? Nobody’s got any business saying something like THAT to your sister, even if she is a big old bi—”

“Hey! All right, all right. Fine. Let’s go kick some snake butt.”

“And then, dumpster noodles!”

Next Time: MONSTERS!

Dec 12, 2011

And now time for monsters! I can honestly sit there and drawing things for MaOCT all day.


Hipster Occultist
Aug 16, 2008

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

Evil Mastermind posted:

The problem with Possibility Points is that there's no easy way to get them. You only get more at the end of an "Act" in an adventure, and even then it's maybe 3 or 4 points. An Act in an official module was four or so scenes, each of which generally had at least one fight.

So you have to spend Possibilities to reduce damage, boost bad skill rolls, and probably be able to use your abilities and gear if you're not in your home cosm. Generally speaking you're lucky if you break even sometimes. There's no "refresh" or way to get them during play unless you're lucky enough to draw a Subplot card.

How does Torg even work? I mean, if I have spend one PP for every 15 minutes of adventuring to fire my laser rifle at a dinosaur man or move in my power armor I just don't see how that works in play. Is the adventure day limited to a couple hours?

Nov 9, 2011

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

Giant Allege Part 4: Go ahead and get the Ace Attorney jokes out of your system now

Act 1 Overview: Introduction Phase

Case Presentation Scene
The players in charge of side A make their dramatic call to the Judgment Satellites in the place of their client. Responding to their call, the Judgment Satellites send down a beam of light, and one week later, the concerned parties and their mighty lawyers assemble at the point where the light strikes the ground.

Lawyer Introduction Scene
Roll initiative (to be explained later), and in order of success, each lawyer arrives at the scene. A pure roleplaying scene where the players each in turn introduce their lawyer and their allege as they arrive on the field of judgment.

B's Request Scene/A's Request Scene
In front of the gathered lawyers, B (the accused) explains their situation and their request. B summarizes their key points about the case. There is a question and answer session, and then B leaves, and the whole thing is done again with A.

Act 2 Overview: Pre-Judgment Phase

Rig the Bids
After a brief debate, each Lawyer declares, in initiative order, which client they're going to represent, and move out to their respective sides. The rules specifically call out that this is a verbal promise, but is not more binding than that, conveniently allowing for mid-battle betrayals.

Thin Out
Before Judgment proper begins, there is an opportunity to try and take out enemy lawyers early using surprise attacks. In initiative order, each Lawyer declares whether or not thety wish to make a surprise attack, and against who. They engage in a one-turn battle (conflict resolution rules later), and whether or not the battle is resolved, it ends there. The winner of a surprise attack battle can either reduce the loser's highest attribute by one, force the loser to join a specific camp, or swap Giant Alleges with the other Lawyer which sounds like it has hilarious potential.

Act 3 Overview: Judgment Phase

Open the Court
The Lawyers enter the battlefield in this order:
The lawyer of the player controlling NPC A
The lawyer of the player controlling NPC B
Lawyers who were forced into a camp during Thin Out
Remaining Lawyers in Initiative order
If, after all this, either camp (A or B) has only one player, then Prosecutor J joins the battle on their side, controlled by that player.

First Judgment
In initiative order, regardless of camp, each Lawyer now chooses whether or not to deploy their Allege. If they do, then the Cost stat for their Allege is subtracted from their client's Budget (there it is!). If the client doesn't have enough Budget left to pay the Allege's Cost, then they'll have to go toe to toe with the enemy Allege on foot. Don't worry, Lawyers can do that.

Here is where the battle between Lawyers rages. Robots rise and fall. More on this bit later, but those defeated can no longer participate in the session.

Deliver Judgment
As narrated by the player controlling the winning NPC:

Thunderous voice from the heavenly Judgment Satellites posted:

We shall now pass judgment. This court finds (A/B) victorious, and we acknowledge their request.

Petition Appeal
If the losing camp has any Lawyers left who can still fight, then the battle is not over. With a shout of "Objection!", they may begin a second round of combat with the remaining Lawyers on both sides. If anyone wants to deploy Allege in this scene, they need to pay Cost again out of their client's Budget. If, after this battle, there are still Lawyers standing on both sides, a THIRD round can be fought.

Act 4 Overview: Resolution Phase

Dismiss the Court
Unspent Budget is split between the remaining victorious lawyers. Everyone gives their exit scene, in initiative order. All lawyers increase one stat by one point, and leave the battle.

Never-ending Judgment
If you still have time in your evening at this point, you can continue on with the same lawyers into another Judgment. All damage is repaired, people can make new Lawyers or Giant Allege, basically whatever. For as long as Ground Judge stands, there will be need for more ridiculous legal mecha battles.

Next: Chargen!

(Incidentally, I made a couple revisions to my last entry, clarifying some stuff I either didn't understand or had wrong.)

Quinn2win fucked around with this message at 23:21 on Apr 19, 2013

Jun 4, 2012

There's only one thing in the mountains that leaves a track like this. The creature of legend that roams the Timberline. My people named him Sasquatch. You call him... Bigfoot.

Hipster Occultist posted:

How does Torg even work? I mean, if I have spend one PP for every 15 minutes of adventuring to fire my laser rifle at a dinosaur man or move in my power armor I just don't see how that works in play. Is the adventure day limited to a couple hours?

Reality Bubbles are only required -if- you go into a pure zone, where one reality totally dominates and you literally can't create a contradiction. Only a few of the published adventures have things going on in pure zones. (And often got confused and treated them like dominant zones when they did.) In dominant zones, where one reality is in charge but contradictions are possible, you're fine without a bubble until you roll a one, assuming your assault rifle works under your personal reality. Then you disconnect and have to obey the local rules until you reconnect. There are two exceptions to this: If you're using a tool that's a contradiction for both your personal reality -and- for the local reality, like you're borrowing a plasma rifle from your cyberpapal templar buddy and you're from Core Earth, while fighting lizard men in Lizard-land, you disconnect and suddenly have a fancy club on a roll of 1-4 instead.

There's also Long Range Disconnection, which is what you risk when you're firing a sticky bomb launcher or throwing a grenade. Hell if I understand how that one actually works, though, it's not something that ever came up precisely -because- it was such a hassle.

unseenlibrarian fucked around with this message at 08:32 on Apr 19, 2013

Aug 13, 2010

"Sometimes life is too uncertain to have regrets."

ProfessorProf posted:

Giant Allege Part 4: Go ahead and get the Ace Attorney jokes out of your system now

Another thing, the side that has the biggest budget are the bad guys.

Love how rediculous this is, someone should play test it

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008

unseenlibrarian posted:

Reality Bubbles are only required -if- you go into a pure zone, where one reality totally dominates and you literally can't create a contradiction. Only a few of the published adventures have things going on in pure zones. (And often got confused and treated them like dominant zones when they did.) In dominant zones, where one reality is in charge but contradictions are possible, you're fine without a bubble until you roll a one, assuming your assault rifle works under your personal reality. Then you disconnect and have to obey the local rules until you reconnect. There are two exceptions to this: If you're using a tool that's a contradiction for both your personal reality -and- for the local reality, like you're borrowing a plasma rifle from your cyberpapal templar buddy and you're from Core Earth, while fighting lizard men in Lizard-land, you disconnect and suddenly have a fancy club on a roll of 1-4 instead.

There's also Long Range Disconnection, which is what you risk when you're firing a sticky bomb launcher or throwing a grenade. Hell if I understand how that one actually works, though, it's not something that ever came up precisely -because- it was such a hassle.
This is all true, but I do want to point out that, at this point in the game, things like pure/dominant zones haven't been introduced yet. Going solely by the player's section in the order things are described, it's just a case of "spend 1 Possibility to use your stuff for 15 minutes".

Like I said, things aren't presented very well.

Wapole Languray
Jul 4, 2012

Okay, to prevent Monster spamming, I'm not doing Character Creations until the update AFTER the Monsters one. Then, I am going to do 3 kids and their monsters, 2 from the thread and 1 of my own making cause I wanna have some fun too. Save your stuff 'till then!

Down With People
Oct 31, 2012

The child delights in violence.

Tasoth posted:


ahhhh its fingers have little smilies on them


Nov 9, 2011

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

Pladdicus posted:

Another thing, the side that has the biggest budget are the bad guys.

Yup, covered this in part 3.

sexpig by night
Sep 8, 2011

by Azathoth

This thread and the old one have produced some great things, be they writing, art, or just reviews of obscure games that got people interested in the line, but I'm pretty sure BEAR SLUG is the current winner for 'best thing in the thread'.

Dec 12, 2011

Tatum Girlparts posted:

This thread and the old one have produced some great things, be they writing, art, or just reviews of obscure games that got people interested in the line, but I'm pretty sure BEAR SLUG is the current winner for 'best thing in the thread'.

I literally walked around chanting 'bear slug' in a sing-song manner after drawing it yesterday at random intervals. Bear Slug is the bee's knees.

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

pospysyl posted:

In the Trojan War, the Greeks want to take back Helen from Paris (the narrator finds it necessary to remind us that Paris is person, not a city :rolleyes:.) However, there’s no wind! They need to make a sacrifice to Artemis, so Agamemnon chooses his daughter Iphigenia. The wind takes them to Troy, where they win and come home. Clytemnestra, Agamemnon’s wife, is angry about her daughter’s death, so she kills Agamemnon. Now, this is from the Orestia, which I haven’t read. I have read the Iliad and the Odyssey, though, and from those this doesn’t sound quite accurate. Then again Aeschylus wrote the Orestia, not Homer. If anyone knows more, feel free to chime in.

Yep, that's the Orestia's first part, Agamemnon, in a nutshell. They're leaving out Clytemnestra shacking up with Agamemnon's cousin, who is the other heir to the throne, though, as well as her murder of Cassandra. Clytemnestra is presented as a pretty awful person in the play, honestly, and every bit as bad as her husband. As far as Greek morality is concerned, it would be weird if her son didn't kill her and her lover, especially after Agamemnon commands him to from beyond the grave.

And, well, to quote Wikipedia on the ending of the trilogy...


During the trial, Apollo convinces Athena that, in a marriage, the man is more important than the woman, by pointing out that Athena was born only of Zeus and without a mother. Athena votes last and casts her vote for acquittal; after being counted, the votes on each side are equal, thus acquitting Orestes as Athena had earlier announced that this would be the result of a tie. She then persuades the Erinyes to accept the verdict, and they eventually submit. Athena then leads a procession accompanying them to their new abode and the escort now addresses them as "Semnai" (Venerable Ones), as they will now be honored by the citizens of Athens and ensure the city's prosperity. Athena also declares that henceforth tied juries will result in the defendant being acquitted, as mercy should always take precedence over harshness.

Hardly the straw-feminist interpretation they would like the story to be, what with their primary goddess being the instigator of the whole thing, and the ending hinging on women being worth less.

There's a beautiful translation of the whole bloody trilogy by Robert Fagles (famed for his Iliad and Odyssey translations), but it's old enough that there's a ton of public domain ones also.

edit: there are a bunch of other versions of the story, too, including many where a deer is sacrificed as a substitute (which usually just makes Artemis angrier), and sometimes Iphigenia is transformed into a goddess afterwards, or haunts the same island where Achilles' ghost is (because her family told her she was going to marry him to lure her to the site of the sacrifice), etc. Aeschylus' just happens to be the most complete, and (in my opinion anyways) most wonderfully poetic. Greek myths are always full of alternate versions and contradictions...

Toph Bei Fong fucked around with this message at 17:09 on Apr 19, 2013

Mar 14, 2013

Validate Me!

Xena and Hercules went well, so I figure I'll try another game. Herc/Xena was pretty short so let's go the complete opposite...something that'll keep me posting until everyone's tired of me:

It combines massive size, terrible editing, minimal coherency, and a hefty price tag.

Sound interesting to anyone?

Sep 3, 2006

Grey Worm's Ken doll-like groin throbbed with the anticipatory pleasure that only a slightly warm and moist piece of lemoncake could offer

Young Orc

oriongates posted:

Xena and Hercules went well, so I figure I'll try another game. Herc/Xena was pretty short so let's go the complete opposite...something that'll keep me posting until everyone's tired of me:

It combines massive size, terrible editing, minimal coherency, and a hefty price tag.

Sound interesting to anyone?

I started this and couldn't get past the intro - I can't wait for you to showcase some of the bigger dick moves in this thing (along with the terrible developer "advice")

Piell fucked around with this message at 18:45 on Apr 19, 2013

Mar 14, 2013

Validate Me!

Piell posted:

I started this and couldn't get past the intro - I can't wait for you to showcase some of the bigger dick moves in this thing (along with the terrible developer "advice")

Oh yes...the advice is awful. Especially region B's goblin "tactics".

Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.

Grimey Drawer

Almost makes me want to dig Ruins of Undermountain out. Almost.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!

oriongates posted:

It combines massive size, terrible editing, minimal coherency, and a hefty price tag.

Sound interesting to anyone?

Go for it, I want to see how it turns flops out.

Kinda surprised I don't have a copy, come to think. I do have a weakness for AEG's crummy yet ambitious d20 work.

Mar 17, 2011

Bieeardo posted:

Almost makes me want to dig Ruins of Undermountain out. Almost.

Yeah, the World's Largest Dungeon has nothing on Undermountain, which consists of the following:

-Two box sets (Ruins of I & II)
-Two supplements (Skullport, Expedition to Undermountain)
-Three adventures (Stardock, Maddgoth's Castle, and The Lost Level)
-At least three articles (the Faiths and Pantheons web enhancement on Vanrakdoom, To Sing The Song of the Drow, and one other that I can't remember)
-Notable details in other sources (City of Splendors, Drizzt Do'Urden's Guide to the Underdark, Serpent Kingdoms)

And still about half of it is not detailed beyond a paragraph or two on the level.

I have honestly been debating doing a FR run-through like Mors Rattus did for 7th Sea, but I'm not sure if there'd be enough interest.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder

oMage: Dragons of the East

The Akashics attempt to emulate the Meru'ai in all ways, and in the past, entire villages followed their practices. Now, though, with the Technocratic paradigm on top, each sect has adopted a particular societal role in their belief system, providing a balance to the order. The Kannagara focus on the impermanence of self to counter the influence of Phoenix, the Vajrapani use the Dragon's destruction to aid the world and the Jnani take the Tiger's chaos into themselves to discipline it. The Li-Hai balance the rest, and their patron, Kai-lin or Lung-ta depending on what name you prefer, lives in dreams or perhaps the furthest reaches of Heaven.

The Kannagara are the monastic leadership of the Akashics, who study the Great Cycle under the guidance of Phoenix. They swear to poverty and celibacy in order to loosen their ties to the world to open themselves to the Akasha. All Akashayana are monks for some period of time, and some join the Kannagara late in life after retiring from their original sect. This is especially popular with Japanese Vajrapani. They are also known as the Phoenix Robes, and they track Akashics through their incarnations, leading efforts to bring the unaware back into the fold. They search for Samadhi via self-annihilation and asceticism, and are the face of the Brotherhood that the West is most familiar with, both as popular stereotypes and as representatives of the Tradition. As Shaolin monks, they promoted Do as a path to discipline and martial skill. Away from the eyes of the West, their decisions are often questioned, especially by the Vajrapani or Shi-Ren, who feel the monks do not deal with practical things, or the Li-Hai, who question everything. Their acceptance of the Wu Lung as allies has made some feel it's just a matter of time until they are toppled by the Dragon Wizards or outraged Akashics.

Sidebar: All you need is Mind 2, Spirit 1 to access the Sangha via the Akashic Records. It's not true telepathy, though - you receive all the impressions about an event after it happens, in form of an urge or intuitive flash. Finding a specific person or clear impression takes 4+ successes. Looking for specific info about another Akashic is considered rude without permission, and most Akashayana are good at hiding their thoughts anyway.

The Vajrapani are the warriors of the Akashic Brotherhood, the instigators of the events that caused the Himalayan Wars and the fall of the Shaolin Temple. They are known as the Warring Fists, and they are not apologetic about trying to meddle in Sleeper affairs at all. Their 36 families, the Banners or Scales of the Dragon, have adapted a life out of different cultures, from Japanese samurai clans to Macau vice lords. Vajrapani are taught within their family, with a grueling apprenticeship under many aunts and uncles in both armed and unarmed combat, magic, business strategy, larceny and military strategy. They also aggressively adopt Orphans in areas they control. The Vajrapani focus power through martial use of Do, oaths of service and purification rites. By focusing on duty, they diminish the importance of self, and purification via symbolic washing, fasting or other rites removes karmic stains from their minds and bodies.

The Jnani or Wu Shan are hermits and shamans, representatives of the Brotherhood to other supernatural beings. They are known as the Mountain Wizards, practitioners of internal alchemy and astrology, and they are very focused on the Dragon Nests of Asia. They typically observe potential apprentices from afar before taking them on, accepting them only if they can both find the reclusive Jnani and survive in the wilderness. When called on, they use their knowledge of the supernatural world to aid the Brotherhood in encounters with Kuei-jin, hengeyokai or others. They are often derided as poor cousins to the Dreamspeakers, but there are vast differences in their Spirit Arts. The Jnani hold that each person is a microcosm of the Tapestry. By understanding the self, they understand the universe. Their patron, Tiger or Snow Leopard, ties the microcosm of self to the macrocosm of the Yang World. The Jnani are well-established throughout Asia, and recently they have been moving from their mountain hermitages to the cities. Younger members say that the cities have a natural order all their own, and are now so large that a hermit could lose themselves in the masses as easily as the wilderness. These Jnani can be found wandering cities or begging on the streets.

The Li-Hai are similar to Orphan iconoclasts in theory, but they are committed to the basics of Akashic principle, even though their means of honoring those principles are wildly divergent from other Akashics. Li-Hai masters might tell a Western student to wear a three piece suit for rituals, not a robe, or mix boxing or baseball into Do training. They care for function, not form. They are also infamous for "aggressive pacifism." The Li-Hai hate violence, but do not practice passive resistance. Rather, they use their unorthodox Do and spirit-binding power to stop fights rather than win them.

The Shi-Ren, or Benevolent Aristocrats, descend from the Hundred Schools of Chinese history. The Akashayana converted the sect, mixing the pragmatism of Legalist thought with ethical duty and mystic experience. Shi-Ren doctrine states that all beings act out of desire or fear. A Shi-Ren uses these motivations to command humans, gods and nature itself. The Shi-Ren greatly value tradition. By keeping to traditional cosmology, they can determine the ties that bind beings together and manipulate them with ancient rites. It is profoundly embarrassing for them that many of their number have abandoned tradition, using Legalist thought in service to the Five Metal Dragons.

The Akashayana were vital to the understanding of the Metaphysics of Magic as understood by the Traditions. Inspired by Buddhist philosophy, they posited a subjective reality, Samsara, while the Order of Hermes insisted that the four Greek elements and Platonic forms were the base nature of the universe. Akashics rarely got involved in debates about the nature of reality, Paradox or...anything, really, which led some to believe that they were cowed by the Western mages. However, the fact remains that they were one of the chief architects of a "universal" theory of magic. Further, they are famous for their faith in the truth of Ascension, as well as their skill with violence. The Akashics claim that Samsara exists because sentient life clings to unbalanced, materialistic lives. The desire to grasp the turning of the Wheel holds it in place, trapping the Bodhicitta, the Enlightened Self, in a web of habit, need and suffering. By training the mind to reject identity and greed and disciplining the body as well as living in harmony with nature, the superior Akashic understands their transience and learns to act with the force of the entire Tapestry. The specialty sphere of Sangha is Mind, simply because sentient beings' thoughts generate karma, which can be imprinted on the Akasha to guide Yin, Yang and Heaven to create Samsara. Most people, however, have undisciplined minds and desires, which manifest in twisted and exaggerated fashion, perpetuating the world of illusion and suffering.

The best-known Akashic focus is Do, which can be used for many things, from steel-tearing blows to symbolic Kaja to repel supernatural beings. An act can be said to be Do if it engages mind, body and spirit as one tool. Prearranged motions do more than perfect a movement via repetition; they describe a mandala with each gesture. Some actions enhance body awareness and direct concentration, allowing the Tao Shih to gather Chi, sense minds or visit spirit realms. Other foci are used as expressions of Do or are symbols for the self's tie to the cosmos. Akashic tools encourage discipline and turn the mind from petty thoughts. Weapons, especially swords and spears, are favored, though the Kannagara often use weapons far too complex to use in actual combat. Sacred hand and finger mudras are used as mystical sign language, and portions of sutras and mantras are often chanted for Mind effects or to access the Akashakarma. Chanting, drumming and clapping can rouse spirits and clear minds, and some sounds are said to have destructive powers over the body. The creation of mandalas, or sacred diagrams, is also common, with silk, gardens or even buildings. Do can be said to be a mandala of motion, and spirit travel or manipulation of joss often involves mandalas. Kaja calligraphy is used to call on gods and spirits, and poems can be imbued with special powers. The Akashic Record is an example of this principle. Massage, acupuncture and other bodywork also get used, primarily for healing magic or revealing weaknesses. It is rumored that the Shi-Ren have mastered acupuncture-based mind control techniques.

Skipping over the example rotes, we get a sidebar on the Five Elements, but you guys have seen that poo poo in other games, like LEgends of the Wulin. It's explained better elsewhere and I don't have to go over it again.

Next time: The Dragon Emperor Wizard.

Green Intern
Dec 29, 2008

Loon, Crazy and Laughable

oriongates posted:

Xena and Hercules went well, so I figure I'll try another game. Herc/Xena was pretty short so let's go the complete opposite...something that'll keep me posting until everyone's tired of me:

It combines massive size, terrible editing, minimal coherency, and a hefty price tag.

Sound interesting to anyone?

By all means! I think I read some excerpts from this a long time ago. Just looking at a physical copy of it was enough to make me roll my eyes.

Mar 17, 2011

It is the epitome of "you enter a 10 by 10 room here. There is an Orc. You kill the Orc. You open the treasure chest in the room and collect 1d6 gp." Just repeat that once for every monster in the 3.0 Monster Manual, alphabetically by CR.

Mar 14, 2013

Validate Me!

Arivia posted:

It is the epitome of "you enter a 10 by 10 room here. There is an Orc. You kill the Orc. You open the treasure chest in the room and collect 1d6 gp." Just repeat that once for every monster in the 3.0 Monster Manual, alphabetically by CR.

Except there's no treasure (the WLD is incredibly stingy) and even when there is, you can't use it for anything because the dungeon is designed to trap you until the entire thing is completed.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder

The most interesting use of the WLD that I ever heard of was 'you play as intelligent, low-CR monsters inside it, selling goods to the adventurers who keep trying to do stuff and living out as normal a life as you can in this horrible, horrible shithole.'

Feb 28, 2007

Plaguing your posts with incidental music.

I listened to a podcast of people playing it while I worked a data entry job, it was good for eating those hours.

Nov 10, 2012

Tribebook: Black Furies

Chapter 1, Part 3

This is going to be a long one, and for that I apologize. I just really want to get to the good stuff, i.e. the stuff that Matt McFarland wrote.

Because of the werewolf war against nuns (a result of inter-camp tensions, if you recall), the Church came to believe in witches. By the fourteenth century, the Inquisition started to fight against these witches, so we have the Black Furies to thank for the Spanish Inquisition along with everything else. I actually don’t mind this historical revisionism, because it would totally make sense for a secret warrior society dealing with an eternal cosmological battle to put itself at the center of a lot of history. Gaian ritual was mistaken for witchcraft and demon consorting, and a ton of Fury kinfolk died. Black Furies managed to get off scot free, though, because, hey, they’re werewolves, what do you expect? The Sisterhood camp originated here, forming to sneak women out of oppressive areas.

The Renaissance! It was a time of huge technological advancement, which to the Black Furies, is of course bad. Fortunately, there were Furies around to keep romanticizing nature, preventing Western civilization from becoming too corrupted by the Namer. The narrator speculates that if the Furies hadn’t done this, we would be living in a “cybernetic nightmare.” In other words, the Black Furies are the reason why you don’t have a jetpack.

The tribes were generally aware of the Pure Brother Tribes in the Americas and left them alone. They didn’t bother Africa because of the War of Rage, where they pissed off all the other werecreatures. Hey, wait a minute! They haven’t talked about the War of Rage at all! That’s, like, one of the most important aspects of the setting! Whatever.

Eventually, though, America was discovered, and the Black Furies had to find a way to get over to Europe. They didn’t want to open any war bridges to invade, so they sent a few packs to stowaway with some nuns. The Freebooters who went over there (we have no idea who the Freebooters are, by the way, but we can gather that they seek out caerns to protect) really liked the natural expanses of the region. These packs took over a caern and opened up the moon bridges so that more Black Furies could come and fortify the base. The Croatan were justifiably pissed, so they sent some diplomats and warriors to confront the invaders.

The Croatan told the Black Furies to leave, the Black Furies refused, the Croatan left, came back the next day, while the Furies still refused. This cycle repeated a few times. The Black Furies thought that the Croatan were kind of incompetent, because, hey, the Furies managed to take over that caern really easily. Eventually, a Wyrm monster attacked the caern and after the Furies and Croatan teamed up to defeat it, they arranged a truce. Elsewhere, the Furies were less successful at arranging peace agreements. They still only have a tenuous understanding with the Wendigo, but they count the Uktena as allies.

After the Black Furies reached peace with the Pure Tribes, the Furies suffered a schism. The Calyxes, leaders of the tribe, didn’t want to commit the necessary numbers of Furies to the New World. Despite this, the Calyxes wanted to continue their authority over the region. After some clashes, the American Furies broke away from the European Calyxes and formed their own jurisdiction. This is much more sophisticated politics than I’m used to from this book, and it’s pretty thin on the bone here. We’re going to get more in the next chapter, though, so that’s fine.

After this, the Croatan sacrificed themselves to defeat Taker-of-Souls. Their spirit wards started to unravel, releasing a whole bunch of Wyrm spirits and giving the Black Furies a lot more work to do. Incidentally, the Great Dust Bowl may have been the result of one of those spirits. In the late nineteenth century, another big Wyrm spirit, Storm Eater, surfaced in the American West. In 1890, a team of various tribes figured out how to defeat Storm Eater. One of their leaders, Dara, was a Black Fury, and she was the first to sacrifice herself. Dara’s Vengeance is a potent artifact to this day, so go forth, PCs and find it!

Some body part is backwards on this lady, but I can't put my finger on it.

On the Amazon: they don’t take kindly to their Amazons being associated with the Amazon River Basin, because that’s just really dumb.

Today’s great line:


A few weeks ago, I was having an interesting conversation about healthcare systems with a Glass Walker of my acquaintance…

I can just imagine two werewolves sitting in some café, debating the merits of socialized health insurance.

Black Furies joined the Portugese settlers in South America, and they have some of the largest kinfolk populations in South America. They work really well with the werebeasts of the region, and are pretty strongly represented in Gogol Fangs-First’s Amazon campaign.

Speaking of wars, there were a lot of human wars in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The Black Furies fought in them. In fact, the Black Furies welcomed these wars, since the most aggressive males would be killed off. The Furies focused on protecting women from rapacious armies. In particular, the Black Furies were involved in the Balkan conflicts, fighting a Wyrm spirit called Kolkos War-Feast.

A personal addendum: the last few paragraphs are really poorly organized in the book. It constantly jumps forwards and backwards in time, from region to region. I’ve tried to make a little bit better, but it really reads amateurish. It’s definitely like another writer took the reins from the witchcraft section on.

The 20th Century saw great advances for feminism, but also brought heavy industrialization. The United States moved West, killing both Indians and nature. The Wyld lost a lot of power in the early 1900s.

And now for a weird short story! Fort Dodge was formed in the early Western expansion. A Black Fury kinfolk gave birth to a Garou, and the Claws of Glory pack came to town to celebrate and recruit. They found some Wyrm taint, leading to a Wyrm monster with a bunch of indestructible eggs. The eggs were associated with a shallow grave. They discovered that a schoolmistress who wasn’t possessed was killing and torturing a bunch of school children. The Furies killed the teacher, destroying the eggs. The spiritual resonance of that vengeance makes the whole town feel more justice-ier, even to this very day.

Women won the right to vote in the United States, but the Black Furies really don’t care. They’re from a very strict hierarchy, you see, so to them voting is just wacky.

World War I was a good time for the Wyrm. Black Furies participated in the war to fight the Wyrm monsters that would inevitably attack, and to protect women, of course. Disease sprits like Tarkhor Night-Murderer killed thousands, and other spirits like Ulgesh the Hope-Render caused mass trench suicides. One thing I will say for this book, they come up with awesome :black101: names for Wyrm monsters.

As women joined the workplace and won the right to vote, their social standing improved. The Black Furies really enjoyed the incremental sexual revolutions, because the Black Furies are secretly the most Third Wave of all Third Wave feminists. WWII was a particularly great time for this advancement, as women dominated the workforce almost totally. To the book’s credit, it gives the Black Furies a largely hands-off role to the feminist revolutions of these times.

The Black Furies really regret not doing more to fight Hitler earlier, but they were busy defending Greece and fighting the Wyrm monsters that resulted from the warfare. They couldn’t do much to stop the death camps either. Mainly, though, it was just ignorance that prevented them from taking more action. This is told surprisingly maturely and from what I remember, a lot better than other :godwin: books that deal with the Nazis and the Holocaust (I’m looking at you, Get).

The Black Furies are still pissed off about Women’s Liberation. There’s the idea that women are already liberated enough, and the work still isn’t complete. The Equal Rights Amendment was defeated. It’s all pretty much a wash.

In modern times, a male metis named Spartacus leads a revolt against the matriarchal leadership! Yes, really. His pack, named Freedom (yes, really), soon turned the revolt into a violent one, because he’s a MAN and that’s what men do (yes, really). Spartacus eventually lost in single combat, and was kicked out of the tribe. The way the narrator sees it, the metis already have it pretty good being allowed to stay in the tribe at all, so he shouldn’t have revolted. Hm. :raise:

The Stepmothers are another good pack gone bad. The pack, led by Sharra Clearwater, found an :moreevil: factory dumping pollutants into the river. They learned that it was run by Black Spiral Dancers, evil werewolves. The Stepmothers attacked the hive alone, but went Wyrm crazy in the process. Now they’re the Wicked Stepmothers (sounds like a biker gang from Grimm), led by the Sh’ra Gthulkya, Clearwater’s new identity. They kidnap babies and recruit them into their pack! They’re a grave threat to the tribe, and the Black Furies haven’t told anyone else, because of course.

Sidebar: Demon worshipping serial killers are real! Hide your kids, hide your wives, because there’s Wyrm worshipping madmen about. They kidnap babies, and are often just regular people, but possessed, but so subtly that they’re impossible to detect! :tinfoil: I have no idea why this sidebar is here.

A new schism is forming, as other female werewolves join the tribe just to fight the Wyrm, but with all ladies. They don’t buy into the same mysticism as the rest of the tribe, nor are they committed to the Furies’ form of justice. The traditionalists of the tribe hate them, and they’re not too popular among the general population either.

The narrator then sums up the Week of Nightmares. Either an ancient vampire, a new kind of super-vampire, or a really powerful Wyrm spirit woke up and tore poo poo up. Werewolves, vampires, kung fu vampires, and ghosts teamed up to fight the vampire. She believes the Illuminati killed the super-vampire in the end, which is actually pretty rad.

The Black Furies are very concerned with the Balkans, as they’re right next to Greece. Soviet control kept the region stable, so the collapse of the USSR is bad news. Violence against women is a huge problem around this time, and prostitution is rampant.


A side note here about prostitution: Personally, I don’t have any moral or ethical problem with the simple idea of loving for money, if it’s done freely, without strings, oppression, or abuse. Of course, it never is.

A weirdly serious turn for a book about werewolf nuns. :rolleyes:

Kelonoke Wildhair of the Sept of Bygone Vision formed alliances with the Red Talons, and surprise surprise, the Shadow Lords. Conveniently, this triple entente gives the Black Furies a scapegoat for when things go wrong, since the Shadow Lords and Red Talons are notoriously unstable. It’s some great subtlety.

The war against Baba Yaga in Russia killed a lot of notable Black Furies, including Mother’s Pride, leader of the Blood of the Sea Sept. Her pack, the Fiery Axe, died when fighting the zmei Gregornous. Tatania, a rumored weak leader, is now in charge of the Russian Black Furies, and the Get and Silver Fangs threaten to take over.


The Black Furies are involved in the Congolese Revolutions, but they’re mostly ineffectual. Their Freebooters have managed to claim a few caerns, though.

Medusa disappeared in 2000, and now the Gorgon hivemind has dissolved. Packs can’t follow the Gorgons as a single spirit, but rather must choose one Gorgon to follow. The Inner Calyx might know more, but they aren’t talking.

The Metamorphic Plague!!! This is a big deal in the metaplot. In the Dark Ages, the Red Talons were known as great prophets, rather than homicidal maniacs. One particularly notable prophet predicted a whole bunch of metaplot. One of the things included in that prophecy was that the Black Furies were going to get a “changing sickness”. The Metamorphic Plague is that sickness. It’s dominant in Mexico, but it spreads from Fury to Fury internationally. The Plague first makes the Furies angrier, then changes their appearance, then changes their memories and personality altogether. It’s spooky.

In a weird deviation from our history, apparently the Black Furies have managed to make the Virgin Mary even more widely worshipped by the Roman Catholic Church. Indeed, the Pope himself has even called for the Virgin Mary to be named “Co-Redemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate”. :wtc: And on that note, that’s the end of Chapter One.

Next time: The good stuff, and a completely different narrative style, and thank goodness for that.

Bitchtits McGee
Jul 1, 2011

Part 4: Monsters and Other Fieldsish Things

New Monsters!

Aswang (CR 6)

Descriptions vary widely, but none of them seem to resemble this picture at all.

    Vampiric bird-dog-demon-things from Filipino folklore who suck unborn fetuses out of pregnant women with their long, mosquito-like proboscises. The Black Tokyo version just has them migrating to Japan to take jobs in disreputable hospitals and nails their natural appearance down to enormous bird-things, "all lice-flecked ebon wings and hollow fangs", although they can disguise themselves as Filipino women. They think Ubume are super-delicious.

    Masque: The disguise ability.

    Proboscis: Long, whip-like tongue that grapples. Pregnant mortal women who are grappled must make a FORT check each round or "undergo an especially tramautic abortion". An Aswang who successfully induces an abortion is instantly healed to full HP, cleared of all status conditions, and becomes immune to turning for 24 hours.

    Seeking the Dark Delicacy: Instead of the abortion thing, a grappled Ubume loses 1D3 WIS points per round, no save, with perma-death at 0 WIS. As if that weren't enough, Aswang are immune to unarmed or melee attacks from Ubume. Better hope you brought backup.

Amakaze (CR 10)

    Yep, these guys. They look all wrinkled and old, but are "stronger than they were in their 20s", sprouting talons of gold and a sharklike mouth full of fangs when they fight.

    Bribe Hell: Can sacrifice an item of Purchase DC 20 or higher to summon a CR 8 demonic bodyguard. This is actually why they're always decked out in designer watches, designer ties and the like, so they can be discarded in an emergency. Actually a pretty cool idea.

    Black Coins: Throw a handful of bloody yen at a target as a free action. If it hits, the target is cursed with a spiritual bounty, giving any Outsiders allied with that particular Amakaze a bonus to attack them.

    Economic Sadism: "The dark, materialist magic that sustains the immortal Amakaze loathes the working poor even as it depends upon them for sustenance." Bonus on all attack/damage rolls and Bluff/Diplomacy/Intimidate checks against targets with a Wealth Bonus of less than +8, and automatically confirm critical hits against targets with 0 Wealth Bonus. Top-notch social commentary right here.

    Murderous Fraud: "The Amakaze’s cold bone talons unravel a victim’s wealth and credit history even as they slice through his guts." Melee attacks deal additional damage to the target's Wealth Bonus. Sure why not.

Binbogami (CR 2)

    It is (or was) a fairly common practice in Japan for moneylenders to take out life insurance policies on borrowers, so that just in case they tried to commit suicide rather than default, the company'd still profit. The Amakaze, beacons of capitalism that they are, take this a step further and turn loan-suicide cases into hordes of disposable zombie drones.

    Unbreakable Contract: Destroy the body, they'll just regenerate and get right back to whatever mission their Amakaze had them on before. The only way to exorcise them permanently is to pay off their debt, permanently reducing your Wealth Bonus by 1 per hobozombie.

Daruma (CR 5)

    Japanese daruma dolls are based on the legend of Bodhidharma, the founder of Zen Buddhism, who legend says meditated for so long that his entire body wasted away beneath him, leaving a serenely enlightened head. In Fields' world, the "real" Daruma are fallen monks and priests turned into giant shrimp demons who seek out happy lovers and chew off their genitals in "some kind of bizarre attempt to control ‘human lust’." Riiiiiiiiiight.

    Pounce: Meh.

    Nibble: Two bites in one attack.

    Mutilating Bite: Instead of Nibble, go straight for the babymakin' parts for extra damage.

    Sexual Inversion Curse: Whatever character makes the deathblow on a Daruma must make a FORT save or have their gender permanently swapped. :psyduck:

Kanedama (CR 5)

    The Amakaze's MIB force of demonic errand boys. They appear as plain, forgettable salarymen, complain about their job constantly, wear dark sunglasses to hide their total lack of eyes, and cheap rumpled suits to hide the fact that they have dog mouths instead of penises. :what:

    Blindsense: No eyes means no visual attacks. And they track by scent.

    Cowards Prosper: Anyone hit by a Kanedama takes extra damage from its allies, as well as any further attacks from the same Kanedama. It doesn't say otherwise, so I guess this effect can stack from multiple Kanedama, making them a real threat in numbers.

Kijohime (CR 7)

    Demons of lust and jealousy, "given form when a young woman masturbates to a bitter, hurtful orgasm to thoughts of a lover she can never possess." Single-minded and not very bright, they come to Earth to seek out the target of the fantasy that spawned them so they can challenge them to a friendly game of tiddlywinks (no, not really). Armless but beautiful Japanese women from head to waist, red-and-gold snake's tail below. Vagina's lined with venomous serpents, and their breast milk is a neurotoxin. Sheesh.

    Climb: Kijohime aren't actually bound by gravity, so they can slither across walls and ceilings with impunity.

    Constrict: Well, they are half snake, y'know.

    Shiofuki: Thinking of their intended lover-victim brings the Kijohime to a messy orgasm, spraying venomous ejaculate in a cone in front of them. Anyone hit must make a FORT save or be blinded for an hour; anyone who fails that save must make a second FORT save or take temporary DEX damage as well.

    Solitary Lust: The opponent with the highest CHA has a penalty to the above saves, because the Kijohime likes them best.

Koma-Inu (CR 8)

    Lion statues that traditionally guarded the entrance to Buddhist temples, now come to life and full of neon or something. How conventional.

Kosode-No-Te (CR 1/2)

    Resembles an ordinary woman's kimono, until it's worn, when it suddenly starts groping them with invisible hands. And that's it.

Okiku (CR 3)

    "The Okiku are the restless spirits who heard the call of the Hanging Academy, but could not answer it." But what does that meeeeeeeaan?? :arghfist::spergin: Anyway, I guess they must be undead teenage suicides or something, since they "resemble the girls they once were" except for being filled with insects and black smoke to replace the viscera removed during autopsy, and try to drive living girls to despair and death.

    Cloud of Doubt: That smoke I mentioned leaks out to form a permanent miasma which surrounds them, removing any fear immunities and penalizing WILL saves.

    Deathsmoke Kiss: An Okiku can make a grapple check to kiss an opponent, forcing acidic smoke into their lungs. Male victims only take half damage, but females not only take full damage from the attack, but must make a WILL save or become listless and suicidal, suffering a penalty to all rolls until she's either hit with a Remove Curse spell or offs herself. If the latter, they rise as a new Okiku in 48 hours.

    Suicide Pact: Okiku work online, too. Killing one sets off an optional side-quest to save one of its online friends from killing herself because of the sudden abandonment.

There's one more, but... not yet. Best for last, don'tchaknow. :unsmigghh:

New Spells!

    Armored by Failure: A favorite of Amakaze, each allied creature slain within the spell's area of effect increases the caster's Damage Reduction by 1/-. The components even include "idiot henchmen".

    Cock Like A Piston: A favorite of bousouzoku street-mages, the caster's cock turns into a piston with which they gently caress their motorcycle's engine for better speed and handling.

    Deadening Defense: Completely cuts the caster off from the Earth Realm's ley lines, rendering them all but invulnerable to all magical effects, good or ill.

    Evil's Tools: Switch any morally-aligned Damage Resistance possessed by the caster. Used by elder oni against demon hunters.

    Fertility Control: Exactly what it sounds like.

    Intimate Shards: A self-damaging area attack, needlessly focused on the breasts and genitals.

    Piss Like A Dragon: Charge your bladder with mystical energy. Hold it in for up to 12 hours, then blast out a firehose stream of burning urine, range and damage dependent on how long it's been held back.

    Slut Training: The target takes 100 points of damage in 24 hours time, minus one point for each person they bring to orgasm within that time. FIIIIIIIEEEEEEEELLLLDS!! :doom:

    Sudden Flowering: Take the berry from a Kijimunna, throw it like a grenade, and turn any non-magical items splashed with its juice into wood, flower and fruits.

    Well-Educated Slut: So long as the spell lasts, get XP for banging a creature as if you'd defeated them in combat.

That's the end of Tales, for now. Next time: the last book, Chastity & Depravity! I can't wait!

Mar 1, 2013

You Are All

pospysyl posted:

Sidebar: Demon worshipping serial killers are real! Hide your kids, hide your wives, because there’s Wyrm worshipping madmen about. They kidnap babies, and are often just regular people, but possessed, but so subtly that they’re impossible to detect! :tinfoil: I have no idea why this sidebar is here.
If I recall correctly, in the '90s there was that big panic regarding not only Satanists coming to get your kids, but also Phantom Social Workers and what not. I reckon this is trying to, poorly, play in to that. The Satanists are obviously Wyrm-tainted (oogah boogah!), but the Phantom Social Workers had ties with MiB stories so you could argue that, if you wanted to, it was a Union plot to go after kinfolk/pre-First Change Garou.

But that'd require more creativity for the werewolf venue than I've seen on most chats.

:eng101: Speaking as a cradle Catholic (:catholic:) John Paul II was very much in to the Virgin Mary and Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. It just seems as if WW took that little factoid and ran with it, which is odd considering how much effort they put in to how corrupt (:pedo:), out of touch (:dawkins101:), and infiltrated by anything looking for a source of power (:downs:) the Church or any organized religion is presented in the WoD.

Yes that last bit was just an excuse for me to break out the emoticons. Sue me.

That Old Tree
Jun 23, 2012


oriongates posted:

Xena and Hercules went well, so I figure I'll try another game. Herc/Xena was pretty short so let's go the complete opposite...something that'll keep me posting until everyone's tired of me:

It combines massive size, terrible editing, minimal coherency, and a hefty price tag.

Sound interesting to anyone?

I look forward to it, but I can't imagine it'll be as long as all that. If you don't summarize or just ignore the massive amounts of completely boring poo poo, no one will read more than half the first post. Also I'm pretty sure you would die.

Dec 30, 2006

I had a beer with Stephen Miller once and now I like him.

Along the World's Largest Dungeon lines, anyone have a copy of Ptolus and feel up to digging through it?

Everything Counts
Oct 10, 2012

Don't "shhh!" me, you rich bastard!

Bitchtits McGee posted:

Part 4: Monsters and Other Fieldsish Things
Daruma (CR 5)

Japanese daruma dolls are based on the legend of Bodhidharma, the founder of Zen Buddhism, who legend says meditated for so long that his entire body wasted away beneath him, leaving a serenely enlightened head. In Fields' world, the "real" Daruma are fallen monks and priests turned into giant shrimp demons who seek out happy lovers and chew off their genitals in "some kind of bizarre attempt to control ‘human lust’." Riiiiiiiiiight.

Wait a second... giant shrimp demons?

Mar 17, 2011

The Forgotten Realms: Well Met!

Hi everyone! i'm here today (and tomorrow, and the day after that, and likely until the stars die and we are all less than dust) to talk to you about the Forgotten Realms, arguably the most prominent and closest thing Dungeons and Dragons has to a "standard" campaign setting.

Why? Well, for one thing, no one else has talked about it. That makes it fair game. But really, I like the Forgotten Realms - a lot. I think it's an awesome setting, with a lot going for it, and a ton of cool toys for players, DMs, and anyone to enjoy. That's not to say it doesn't have its' downsides: for the awful side of FATAL and Friends, I will happily be furnishing three of the worst adventures ever, and a bunch of other horrible things.

My goal here is to have fun and show you what I like about the setting, what makes it interesting, and make the case for it as a place you should enjoy playing in beyond "this is the first campaign setting D&D has put out for four editions running and I don't feel like making up anything else." Because with publications for three editions and soon to be a fourth, there is a ton of Forgotten Realms material. I'm not sure if there is another campaign setting with so much material, and that's really imposing. Trust me, though, it's not that scary.

So step back in time with me to 1986, when TSR was looking for a new campaign setting to produce for the 1st Edition of AD&D. They had just come off the hugely successful project of Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis' Dragonlance modules and novels, which proved that D&D as a multimedia effort - as a brand dedicated to selling fantasy properties for consumption - was not only viable, but very profitable.

At the same time, Gary Gygax and the "old-school" were on the way out. Gygax had spent a few years in Hollywood being utterly uninvolved with D&D production. Depending upon who you talk to, he was either helping with the production of the D&D cartoon and trying to get a D&D movie started, or he was really enjoying the hookers and coke train. Either way, he wasn't part of the "plan" any more, and when he came back from Hollywood he basically blew up D&D production for a little while trying to turn TSR into his own fiefdom again.

As a result of this, TSR management selected Jeff Grubb to find a new campaign setting, as Gygax's flagship Greyhawk might be unavailable to the company soon. Jeff had been an integral part of the Dragonlance design, so he knew what TSR wanted - an accessible, new setting with lots of detail and possibility, especially the possibility for future media use (such as with the Dragonlance novels.) They also wanted something with a lot of space, where they could combine a lot of different designers' work, and "place all future adventures for the D&D game." (If you listen to OSR people, they often hearken the publishing of the Forgotten Realms as one of the signs of the end of the "good stuff," since TSR was trying to make a complete break with Gary Gygax's world.)

Jeff looked through what TSR had on hand and found something interesting. In Dragon magazine, TSR's current house organ for pretty much anything D&D, a young man named Ed Greenwood had been writing and publishing a TON of articles. He wrote about everything from the formative design of D&D's Nine Hells to an article about how to use scribes in your D&D game. And a huge portion of Greenwood's work made allusions to his own campaign setting, which he referred to as the Forgotten Realms. It seemed to have a bunch of interesting details and twists in it, so Jeff sent a request to Ed Greenwood to see a writeup of the Realms, with an eye towards possibly publishing it.

The first packet was 15 pages of typewritten notes with drawn diagrams. Jeff asked for more, and more followed - the first publication for the Forgotten Realms is mainly derived from the hundred of pages Ed sent TSR, which eventually took Jeff Grubb and Karen Martin a full year to slim down to something publishable. Add on the first of (many) tweaks for other projects to be included, and you have the Forgotten Realms Campaign Set, the first product I'll be sharing with you.

Two notes, though:

1) There are actually products produced for the Forgotten Realms prior to the Campaign Set. I'm going to be covering some of them but not all, because I don't want to read everything ever produced for 1e Oriental Adventures, for example. Similarly, I'm just doing printed gaming supplements and adventures. Novels and magazine articles are way too much, but I'll explain whatever comes up when we need to. If you want to be absolutely correct, the OA series of adventures were printed before the Campaign set, so was the first novel in Doug Niles' Moonshae trilogy, so was Ed Greenwood's Spellfire, and so were the first two Bloodstone modules. I'll only be covering the last.

2) Try to be careful with spoiling things. While not everything has been developed in the 25 years of development since, a lot of the fun plot hooks from older material have been resolved since, and I'd rather not ruin cool stuff for new readers. Think of it like a better metaplot from Vampire or TORG or whatever, and you're on the right track.

PS: The Forgotten Realms as a a fantasy world is something Ed Greenwood has been working on before he was introduced to D&D. The name actually stems from it being a "realm forgotten," where in Ed's ideas families used to have magic "portals" that would take them to this other world (think like the Wardrobe in Narnia) and have long romances and hidden wars. Over time, these families forgot about the magic they once had, providing a pretty good opportunity for adventure and heroism. A lot of Ed's original Realms hasn't been published, but he has talked about it off and on - some because it didn't fit with D&D at all, some because another designer has done something different with that part of the Realms. However, One Comes, Unheralded, to Zirta is a short story he did prior to the Realms as a D&D campaign setting. It's not bad, with some interesting details - and the first appearance of Elminster, Sage of Shadowdale.

Next Time: The Old Gray Box

Green Intern
Dec 29, 2008

Loon, Crazy and Laughable

Looking forward to every time one of the big-name NPCs show up.

Elminster, you had your finger in goddamn every pie.

Humbug Scoolbus
Apr 25, 2008

The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. Shame, Despair, Solitude! These had been her teachers, stern and wild ones, and they had made her strong, but taught her much amiss.

Clapping Larry

Majuju posted:

Along the World's Largest Dungeon lines, anyone have a copy of Ptolus and feel up to digging through it?

I have Ptolus...


Jul 19, 2012

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

Sorry for the delay, it's been a hell of week. But I'm in a good mood now :toot: so let's get a chapter done.

Hengeyokai Chapter 5: The Nine-Tails

Just a note, that's not a Godzilla sized fox in the background, it's meant to be her reflection. The perspective is just really screwy.

The first thing you see when you turn the page is this

I do kind of like this, it's evocative of how the Kitsune handle things with their kinfolk and children, and it's the sort of thing someone shortly after their first change would get, so the sense of "Oh god what is happening, what do these words mean, what are you talking about dad!?" is intentional.

The only problem is that it's barely legible. It's better when zoomed in, but I can't imagine books were meant to be read at a distance of six inches.


Dearest Mei,
I expect you're wondering why your mother and I aren't home. Until this moment, I truly thought we would be there in person - that we would be allowed to explain things in our own way, before anything strange entered your life. Please forgive us, and remember this isn't our idea of a good-bye.
The time has come to tell you the truth, or at least a part of it: you are not our own child. Your birth mother was my little sister, joy; Amy and I are your aunt and uncle.
Joy came to me in tears, but happy, in her last year of college. She was pregnant and getting married, I didn't take it well at first - our family was strict - but agreed to go with her and meet the man she loved. There were certain arrangements they wanted help with.
I won't even try to explain your real father to you. I don't believe what happened, myself. But I saw, and later Amy saw, and we agreed that should anything happen to Joy, we would raise you as our own.
We had to promise to give you up to your father any time after your twelf birthday, to teach you martial arts, music, calligraphy, Mandarin, Japanese, and other things - vietnamese, because I think your mother wanted it - and to keep this a secret until it was time for you to go.
Joy died in childbirth. I suspect she knew she would. Your father took one look at you and fled the room and, I think, the country. We have not seen him since.
Mei, there are many things about your other family that we don't understand, but Uncle Hu, at least, has helped us a great deal over the years, watching over you in sickness and danger like a guardian angel. I think you can trust him.
We're told we have to go now.
Darling, Amy and I love you very much. Please don't think we've been the cuckoo's parents, not knowing any better - we will never forget you. Our door will always be open for our daughter. Remember us, sweetheart.
Your Uncle Hu will be here to pick you up at seven. Do what he tells you, study hard, and I know you will make us proud.
Thuy Quan
I can understand why they wanted to go with the 'handwritten note' route for this, as it adds to the realism of it, I just wish they had used something a little closer to block print, or a larger font. Cause there's actual emotion that goes into this writing and you can relate to it.

Then you turn the page.


So you may be wondering why the effective changing breed book for the Kitsune is kind of - well - stuck onto the tail end of Hengeyokai, instead of running wild and standing free as it's own book. If you're not wondering, great, please skip onto the lexicon.
However, without feeling the need to justify ourselves here, we would like to make a point:
We don't need to justify ourselves to you, but if you insist I suppose I can lower myself to give an answer. :smug:


Other Changing Breeds have worldwide "memberships."
Kitsune think of themselves always as hengeyokai, never Bete.
To sum up: Sure, you can play a hengeyokai without having to know anything about Kitsune. But you can't play a Kitsune without knowing about the hengeyokai.

Yeah, cause there were never any fox myths in Europe. Fox spirits never showed up in Native American myths. Nope, Trickster foxes only exist in Asia. This isn't even getting into the fact that the Korean equivilant to Kitsune want your tasty tasty livers and the Chinese equivilent are out to possess you and steal your penis/nipples. Did Aesop have dick-stealing liver-eating she-foxes?

I thought not.

No, the real reason that the Kitsune aren't all over the world is because that would take away their specialness. The author seemed to think that there was a false dichotomy that by making them more common they would become mundane. If you spread them out around the world and knocked down their ego a few pegs they'd probably be okay. But no, the Kitsune are special and they will never let you forget it.

As evidenced by yet another lexicon(I've skipped over a few, Hakken, Same-Bito, and Zhong Lung all had their own lexicons) where they've got their own words for drat near everything.
  • Batsu: Allies
  • Chie: Wisdom
  • Ju-Fu: Kitsune Paper and Rune Magic
  • Jyu-Ho: All Fox Magic
  • Kagayaki: Glory
  • Sempai: Mentor
  • Tamamono: Gifts
  • Toku: Honor
  • Yojutsu: Hedge Magic
Another thing to note from the lexicon, they've got 3 different words for different kinds of magic, such that they needed a fourth word just to ball them all up. Even better, one of these (Ju-Fu) Is Kitsune only, because only Kitsune figured out how to make magic Origami.

Up Next: The real history of the world and at least two ways that foxes are better than you.

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