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Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



oMage: Dragons of the East

The Tai Ho Li date back to the same era as the rejuvenated Toc Faan, born out of the Cu Chi tunnels of Vietnam. They have few members, but three decades have been enough to give them great power. The tunnels were dug in the early 50s during the revolt against the French government, and extended dramatically during the Vietnam War. They cover over 150 miles of tunnel, undermined the US 25th Infantry Division's base, went all the way to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) and even cross the Cambodian border. The tunnels allowed the National Liberation Front (AKA the Viet Cong) to distribute supplies and weapons as well as conduct lightning raids on the US forces, popping out of nowhere to shoot at patrols. It also gave fleeing villagers and NLF troops somewhere to live. All sorts of facilities, including weapon factories, hospitals and a propaganda cinema could be found in the Cu Chi tunnels.

In 1973, the US forces left Vietnam, though the Second Indochina War dragged on for two more years, when Saigon fell to the North Vietnamese. Vietnam now welcomes tourism and shows visitors the Cu Chi tunnels.

quote:

See if you can fit through this claustrophobically small passage scraped through Vietnamese dirt! (You can't,) See if you can cross this field without setting off clever Viet Cong booby traps! (You can't.) Pay five American dollars to empty the clip of this vintage M-16! (Almost anyone can.)

Only a fraction of the tunnels are open to the public, though. That's good, because the Tai Ho Li don't like sharing their space. They're friendly enough to the handful of outsiders who met them, but they say nothing about how they live. Their founder is an anonymous Vietnamese man who is only known to have been a peasant farmer in Cu Chi who had been blind from birth. Because of that, he had no wife or children and had to work on his parents' farm. When fighting got close, the locals would go into the tunnels, where his blindness didn't matter and his other senses were keen. He helped them avoid troops and pitfalls, until disaster struck: they were caught between US tunnel rats and NLF fighters with nowhere to run. Many villagers died, and most survivors fled with the NLF and joined up. The remaining few huddled with the blind man, waiting for him to recover enough to lead them out. He did lead them, but into the deepest tunnels, where they still live.

That is all the information the Tai Ho Li will tell. More troubling is the inability to pry more from them - all of them, even the lowest acolyte, has a mental barrier of impressive strength, even if they lack any magical abilities. Their living area, four stories below the surface, is warded similarly against clairvoyance. The amount of raw power needed for such shields leads many to believe the Tai Ho Li have tapped some external power source. Etherites talk about tunnels full of gleaming machinery, while Verbena talk about tunneling deep enough to hit magma and glean the potent tass from the magma pools. Others mention the possibilities of demonic influence. Only one outsider has ever seen the Tai Ho Li cavern, and his memories are unclear, due to the speed of his escape, but he reports that the Tai Ho Li are digging still. Going deeper.

So far as anyone knows, the Tai Ho Li have no formal organization. They're all in one place, so they don't need one. They are only found outside when they go hunting for food or supplies, and the ones who do that make full use of their tunnels, getting supplies from throughout the Cu Chi district. The young blind man is still the leader and, apparently, the object of some veneration. He is referred to as Tai Hoi, meaning 'to return', which has caused a great deal of speculation. Perhaps, some say, Tai Hoi believes he died in the fighting and his name means a return to life. Perhaps he feels he's a god reborn. Maybe his name is a prophecy of some kind, a return of some great entity. Hell, it's even possible that he did die and come back. However, most thought is devoted to the prophecy option - that the Tai Ho Li are paving the way for the return of some otherworldly being locked deep in the earth. Neither libraries nor spies have produced answers so far.

Tai Ho Li membership is diverse, from what those watching can see. Most are Vietnamese, but some are Khmer, Thai or Hmong. American and European tourists and journalists sometimes vanish in the Cu Chi tunnels, and at least one of those journalists has been later spotted in the company of Tai Ho Li. Most of the group appears normal, if pale, but some members have taken up the practice of gouging out their own eyes to better emulate Tai Hoi. The scars and open sockets show that it's done by hand, very likely by the person themself, without anesthetic or antibiotics. Such self-mutilated members do not go to the surface, but can be found nearly anywhere in the tunnels. They've been down here for 30 years, and some of 'em have had kids. It should be reassuring, but it isn't. The children are almost all unnaturally pale and white-haired, as well as often deformed. Almost all of them are blind. Some have sightless eyes, while others only have white skin where eye sockets should be. Even when grown, they never leave the tunnels, and the youngest are never seen by outsiders.

It's pretty obvious that the Tai Ho Li have magic of some kind. It's less clear if they have mages or sorcerers or are just a channel for something else's power. Their wards indicate a great deal of expertise in what the Traditions would call Correspondence magic. Some believe Tai Hoi to have been an Awakened Orphan before the incident in the tunnels. The mental shielding also suggests powerful Mind magic. The tunnel-dwellers have very little in the way of possessions, so what they do carry might be foci. Some of them make a point of carrying things from the war, such as dog tags or necklaces of spent shells, collections of eyeglasses, wedding rings or French, Viet Cong or US rank insignia. The devout Tai Ho Li who remove their own eyes have also been seen to carry the dried husks of their eyes in small pouches. Any Tai Ho Li mages would focus on Correspondence, Entropy and Mind. Some Tai Ho Li might use remnants of the war to get a sense of their position, and some say that the Tai Ho Li speak in sibilant whispers while doing so, as if invoking an intervention of some kind.

Sidebar: So how the gently caress do you play a Tai Ho Li? Well, it's hard! They're meant as enemies or a mystery to be solved. What they're actually doing is left to the ST to decide, so anyone wanting to play a Tai Ho Li should work closely with the ST. There are a lot of questions left deliberately unanswered, after all. Remember, though: they're not caricatures. There are other types of Vietnamese wizard, and the Tai Ho Li still have personal motives, despite their insular, cultish nature.

Moving on...remember the Song Dynasty? Mongols attacking China? Well, Genghis Khan and Kublai Khan had Awakened shamans, though they themselves were no mages. Of course, their rule couldn't last, and China ended the Yuan Dynasty. Later, the Qing gained the loyalty of the Khalka Mongols. However, that was when Buddhism came to the steppe, and traditional Mongol shamanism began to vanish even as Mongolia became a semi-autonomous client state of China. As Russia and China became Communist, so did Mongolia, and all religious beliefs went underground. The Sons of Tengri, a small shamanistic group, became the only Awakened practitioners of the Mongol shamanic tradition, relentlessly pursued by Technocratic forces of both Asia and the West. They're somewhat unique in facing danger both from the Zaibatsu in China and the Technocrats of Russia, and most who know of them don't expect them to survive long. On the other hand, they've lasted longer than anyone expected already, and they think they've got an ace in the hole.



Until the Buddhists came in the 16th century, the Sons of Tengri were at best an informal group, and they didn't call themselves that back then. They were just the Awakened shamans of Mongolia. When Buddhism came and supplanted their traditional animism, though, the importance of the old ways faded for most Mongols. The shamans struggled with the Akashics for the hearts and minds of their people. The Akashics weren't missionaries, of course - they just came following the Buddhists. However, the conversions were a clear point of contention, and the loss of one too many shamans led the Mongol mages to attack the Akashics. Since the first few times were ambushes, they went quite well, but the rest of the conflict did not. The Akashics, even then, were numerous and powerful in combat. The Sons of Tengri called on nature spirits and ghosts to fight, but in the end, they lost and went underground. Young shamans continued to Awaken into their paradigm, and they took those shamans in and trained them.

The next few centuries were pretty quiet - occasional conflict with Siberian shapeshifters or the half-mad monsters of the Gobi, but predictable lives. The Sons of Tengri quietly watched over their people, unnoticed by both the Akashics and Technocrats. This lasted until the 20th century and the fall of the Qing as well as the rise of Communism. Mongolia became communist in 1924, and the Technocrats used their totalitarian rule to bring the local Traditions down, using Mongolia for "experiments." After all, the place is empty enough not to have them endanger too many people. The first step, of course, was to eradicate any native mages. The Sons of Tengri were deeply wounded - their population was dwindling already, and they had to hide even deeper. In 1982, a Technocrat strike force destroyed most of their elders at a meeting in Altay, and the younger members continue to mourn. Eighteen years later, though, the worst is over and the Sons of Tengri may be able to come out of their exile. They are suspicious of the Council of Nine due to their conflict with the Akashics, and for now, they choose neutrality.

The last decade has been relatively good to the Sons of Tengri. Democracy in Mongolia, something they're happy to take credit for despite the flaws of the claim, has reduced the intensity of the Technocratic pogrom. For the most part, they're still organized on conspiratorial lines, much as they were in 1924. A cell is usually 3-6 people, all of whom live within a hundred or so miles of each other. (That's close, by Mongolian standards.) Individuals do whatever job they like, or work together for coordinated goals. There's between ten and twenty cells, no two alike, but all cell members watch out for each other. One or two in each cell know the name of a contact in another cell, and they pass on messages that way without the dangers of centralized structure. Typically, they use trusted spirits to carry the messages, but physical means like phones also get used.

The Sons of Tengri strictly forbid two or more Masters from being in the same building at once. That lapsed in the early 80s, and that led to the death of many Masters in the Altay Massacre. Now, nearly 20 years later, with the opening of Mongolian society, many younger Sons (who can be male or female; they don't mind Daughters at all) push to move to a less paranoid organization. The shamans revere the sky god, Tengri (literally 'Heaven') and the Earth Mother, Itugen. They speak to the nature spirits, especially those of the high places or running water. All objects and places are said to have a natural spirit, but in these mechanized days, many spirits have been crushed or hollowed out. The Sons also traditionally commune with the dead - in the old days, the Mongolian Empire's afterlife was really busy, and ghosts kept them active all the time. In the more modern days, ghosts are more reticent, speaking of enslavement and great storms in the Underworld.

Unlike the Dreamspeakers, the Sons of Tengri do not have personal totems. Instead, they care for a group of people or a piece of land, tending to both physical and spiritual needs. They venerate the spirits of running water, and often cursed Communist settlements that ignored the health of the water. They alone know of many dormant Nodes in the steppe, and at least a dozen of them have gone untapped and unused. Any mage with decent Prime could detect them if nearby, but the Sons have no idea who sealed them or why. Surely the Five Metal Dragons would have tapped and used them if they knew. The Sons are sure their predecessors knew of and used the Nodes, but the pogrom was so intense that their secrets were passed on only verbally, and the Altay Massacre killed the masters before they could pass on their secrets. The Sons are also trying to figure out the recent changes to the Gauntlet, though they've never been the sorts to cross without good reason. Sure, they can still cross the Gauntlet (or Wall, as they call it) in a pinch, but it's very painful and damaging to do, and that's best avoided. The end of Soviet control, at least, has allowed the Mongolian people to rediscover their heritage and travel once more. They've been encouraged to study their history and culture, much to the joy of the Sons, and to reclaim national heroes like Genghis Khan. The Sons have begun to reach out to the youth in the midst of all this, inviting them to learn more in the hopes of a magical rebirth. Like many shamanistic mages, they use Spirit more than any other magic. Common foci include places like stream banks or promontories, the traditional wood-and-felt ger (or yurt), and fire or drumming. Physical talismans of bone or herb also get used.

Next time: Monsters.

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Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



I - what the gently caress was that formula poo poo doing in there?

Least the abortion bit isn't as cringe-worthy as I feared it'd be, considering WW's track record.

FMguru
Sep 10, 2003

peed on;
sexually

dwarf74 posted:

I love oldschool FRPG line art, and Erol Otus is vastly underrated, but yeah... I think their art budget by this point was, "Chuck in Accounting knows how to draw! Let's ask him!"
Power and Perils was kind of noteworthy in that much of the line art was directly traced from Frank Frazetta.

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

Kellsterik posted:

All the Werewolf related writeups so far are making me really sympathetic to Pentex's case.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPGK5nUjlyg

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Payndz posted:

That horse's legs are giving me a serious MC Escher vibe.

I was thinking Dali:

Only registered members can see post attachments!

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Robindaybird posted:

I - what the gently caress was that formula poo poo doing in there?

Least the abortion bit isn't as cringe-worthy as I feared it'd be, considering WW's track record.

What long-winded rant that boils down to "tits or GTFO".

I'm just glad they didn't get into vaccines or castration, I suppose. But preachy baby advice is probably under "things you never, ever need in a game".

Erebro
Apr 28, 2013


Lemon Curdistan posted:

Zilargo are actually "good guys" - in a setting where everyone is a political dickbag who is trying to conquer the world, they're political dickbags who just want to be left alone.

This is over already, but gently caress it I'm getting a word in edgewise.

Thing about Zilargo is that for it, the writers took the "race of schemers" to its logical extreme: the national hobby of Zilargo is literally scheming for the sake of scheming, even if it's mainly a ridiculously circuitous scheme to say, get that Promistide fruitcake bonus. You could suddenly replace all the gnomes in the world with clones of David Xanatos and nobody would notice-not even the gnomes you missed.

Thus, the Trust is less like a secret police force and more like a police force which is secretive-they have to be, considering that "cheap thug" in gnomish is "Bond villain" in everyone else (with stupidity intact, which is why they're cheap thugs). They have to be, considering you have to be the loving Machine from Person of Interest in order to stand a fighting chance-there's enough problems without the criminal elements of Zilargo knowing where your family is. That, and they have a three strikes policy (first is a threat, the second is blackmail, the third is Guantanamo).

Also, I think the Triumvirate is democratically elected. Well "democratically", seeing as how given who the gnomes are, they probably consider not stuffing the box (repeatedly, to counteract your opponent stuffing the the box for his own side) not trying.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



Alien Rope Burn posted:

What long-winded rant that boils down to "tits or GTFO".

I'm just glad they didn't get into vaccines or castration, I suppose. But preachy baby advice is probably under "things you never, ever need in a game".

definitely not - babies/pregnancy and gaming very rarely go well together and this sidebar is just as jarring as if the writer went on a rant about the evils of the unregulated market or whatnot.

And honestly, some of it's implications considering female metis less female because they're barren and 'crone if you can no longer children' makes me highly uncomfortable.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

pospysyl posted:

Mothers are, well, women who have had children (whether a miscarriage still counts is debatable). The Black Furies want every member of their tribe to proceed into this group, but more and more young Furies want to avoid it.

This is a conflict that's always struck me as particularly awkward in Werewolf, the threat of impending extinction and the sometimes explicit demand that individual garou (and particularly kinfolk) breed for the war effort. While it's somewhat easily shrugged off by gaming's stereotypically lonely male demographic ("The book says the elder says you've gotta do a lot of girls, dude.") White Wolf has always had a lot of success drawing women in as well.

citybeatnik
Mar 1, 2013

You Are All
WEIRDOS





Robindaybird posted:

And honestly, some of it's implications considering female metis less female because they're barren and 'crone if you can no longer children' makes me highly uncomfortable.
My take on it, right or wrong, is that the Furies can put up with "male" metis because they're imperfect males while they can't stand their females because they're, well, imperfect females. The mules get shat on by just about every group no matter how open they are for different ideological reasons. Each tribe has its own take on why they're wrong, colored by what they focus on. Yadda loving yadda. You just end up with some extra uncomfortable implications here with the Furies, that could have worked (or been avoided) if you didn't have the "suburban white males trying to write about issues that they have never personally had to deal with and really didn't do much studying up on" issue. The idea of Hathor the Cow-Goddess of internet comic infamy being a viable concept for the tribe amuses me far more than it should.

But then not every Tribe can be as awesome as the Bonegnawers.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Funnily enough, Hathor was the first thing that sprang to mind while reading that boob vs. formula rant.

pospysyl
Nov 10, 2012

SO EMBARRASSING



Tribebook: Black Furies

Chapter 2, Part 3

The Outer Calyx is comprised of 13 Furies. A pool of worthy candidates is selected every three years and the main thirteen are chosen via lottery to respect the Wyld. Dead members are replaced by their protégés or their seats are left open until the next “election”. In order to qualify for the Calyx, you must complete a variety of games at the grand moot, and of course there’s politicking along with that.

As one might imagine, elections via lottery are vulnerable to corruption and there is almost certainly some dirty dealings involved with the Calyx. Iona Kinslayer is chosen for the Outer Calyx year after year in defiance of probability and metis are very rarely called upon. Then again, this is a universe where the laws of probability are controlled by magical entities beyond mortal comprehension, so who knows?

The Outer Calyx is the body that decides tribe policy, what it should focus on and finding worthy members. Each member is responsible for a particular region of the world, and they serve a sept position in their region. Getting the attention of the Outer Calyx is a good way to get Renown, since they’re also responsible for dealing with spirits on a tribe-wide basis. Of course, if you get the negative attention of the Outer Calyx, that won’t work out well for you.

The Inner Calyx is different. Once, Luna granted five Black Furies, one of each auspice, a powerful fetish. The Ragabash got the Cloak of Luna, the Theurge her Salve, the Philodox her Bridle, the Galliard her Loom, and the Ahroun received her Bow. These five Furies were the original Inner Calyx. Nobody knows who the Inner Calyx are, but they have veto power over the Outer Calyx and protect the most powerful fetishes. They’re made up of five Furies with a representative from each auspice. To enter the Inner Calyx, there’s a challenging test. The Ragabash has to make Luna smile, i.e. make the moon change phase out of schedule, and the other tasks are equally impressive. Luna herself chooses the Inner Calyx, and she’s incomprehensible. Werewolves as low as Rank 2 can be chosen.

The Calyxes are a subject of a lot of controversy in the Black Furies, mostly between young and old Furies. The schism between American and European Furies was over their unquestioned authority. Worse than their centralization is their anonymity. The Inner Calyx is completely anonymous and therefore unaccountable. They might not even exist. The Outer Calyx is supposed to be randomly chosen, but newbie werewolves are less likely to be chosen, which is completely undemocratic. The lottery also removes accountability.

The Fury camps are known as kuklos. They don’t see eye to eye, but they don’t fight!

The Amazons of Diana aren’t a self-identified group. Really, it’s a catch-all term for a particularly aggressive Fury. Their goal is to prove themselves the equal of the Get of Fenris or the Shadow Lords on the battlefield. Rather than dedicate themselves to the vengeance that the rest of the tribe pursues, they focus on hunting Wyrm monsters, opposing the conservative members of the tribe. They’re the most vocal and visible Furies to other werewolves. Angela Cries-for-Blood is the most notable Amazon, and she’s responsible for establishing political alliances with other tribes. She’s a forward-looking voice in the Black Furies.

Carlotta pipes up again, recommending that Anxi not join the Amazons, because they’re maniacs, maniacs I say! The Amazons claim to protect women and world and prevent violence, but really they’re all crazy kill monsters. Another valuable contribution from Carlotta, then.


Pictured: a cockroach dragon wolf with PVC pipe legs getting eaten by three wolves and axed while a legionnaire looks on. Werewolf!

Bacchanates, on the other hand, are the most dedicated kuklo to the Furies’ vengeance. They enforce Gaia’s law, destroying her enemies. They dismiss the Amazons as third wave feminists only focusing on appearing the equal to men. Rather than fight the more visible forms of the Wyrm’s corruption, the Bacchanates hunt down rapists, domestic abusers, polluters, and those who clone humans(?). They totally wreck their targets, sometimes getting mistaken for natural disasters. edit: Seriously, they're all about the RAGE. First edition Bacchanates were never out of RAGE mode.

The Freebooters’ ranks are rapidly decreasing. They find places where the Wyld is strong to convert into caerns. Because there are so few Wyld places left, they have trouble recruiting new members. As a result, the Freebooters are further divided into two loose camps. One, led by the Ragabash-Mother Erin Walks-through-Darkness, believes that they need to find a new home for Gaia somewhere in the Umbra (basically outer space). They’re the extreme minority, though, and the rest of the Freebooters are committed to finding either very subtle Wyld hotspots or reopening closed caerns. They also steal tainted fetishes for purification.

The Moon Daughters, on the other hand, are gaining new members rapidly. They’re neopagans who want to revolutionize Garou magic. They modernize old occult knowledge, similar to the Glass Walkers. They’re committed to change.

That short description may sound boring, but a sidebar goes into more detail. They have a lot of connections to the human occult underworld, meaning they can find lone werewolves more easily and learn of strange supernatural phenomena they can deal with. They also try to shape those Wiccan communities to form a religion that can evolve to survive.

I’ve already talked a lot about the Order of Our Merciful Mother, but here’s the complete entry. It’s the result of Black Furies infiltrating the Catholic Church. The Order isn’t centralized, as each pack tends to its own community. When need is dire, though, they convene in northern Italy. The last time they did this was during World War II.
The goal of the Order is to use the tools of patriarchal culture to subvert it and create more favorable conditions for women. Those members of the Order who join other convents tend to actually espouse their virtues and are the most politically engaged sisters.

It turns out that Carlotta is a member of the Order (nooooo). She worked in the Vatican and faced a lot of the scorn that other Furies have for the Order. From their perspective, the Catholic Church and convents in particular support oppression. Carlotta argues that those women who join convents choose to do so, and the Furies shouldn’t judge their reasons for doing so (not a strong argument). The Order isn’t even exclusively Catholic; there’s at least one Muslim member of the Order.

As a personal aside, there is precedent for convents subverting the will of the larger Catholic Church. You might remember the National Coalition of American Nuns and the LCWR publicly dissenting with the American Council of Bishops over healthcare and several other policies. Back during the sexual revolution of the sixties, a young sociologist entered a convent to educate the nuns there. Six months later, the convent had descended into lesbian orgies and was cast out of the Church. The convents have always been more liberal than the mainstream Church, and its inclusion here is pretty cool. Werewolf nuns are also a great thing that makes this Earth a richer place to live in.

The Sisterhood is the connections camp of the Black Furies. They maintain information networks and can procure things. They were founded during the Inquisition when they maintained an underground railroad to rescue accused witches. They accumulated a lot of information doing so, and they continue that propensity to this day. They don’t like the Order, believing that they’ve been tainted by the Patriarch spirit. Carlotta attests that she’s worked well with Sisterhood members before, though. edit: According to the first edition book, the Sisterhood concentrates properties and manpower. A lot of this was mystical artifacts. I assume this aspect was downplayed to avoid stepping on the Freebooter's toes, but mechanically they stick with this interpretation.

The Temple of Artemis is the conservative ideological leader of the Black Furies. They have very strict membership conditions (meaning your character can’t start as a member). They believe that the Black Furies should stop working with the other tribes altogether since the Furies alone uphold Gaia’s laws. They see the fight against the Wyrm as quixotic and choose to focus on their original roles as avengers and enforcers. They hold an undue influence over the Outer Calyx, although they often judge werewolves without the sanction of the Calyxes or even local septs. They don’t like the Moon Daughters as they’re namby pamby liberals.

Next time: The Quran, casual racism, and more sex talk.

pospysyl fucked around with this message at 02:55 on May 17, 2013

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

pospysyl posted:

the Bacchanates hunt down rapists, domestic abusers, polluters, and those who clone humans(?).

When you can clone people, you don't need mothers any more, do you?

Edit: True, but this is wWhite Wolf. They're probably thinking pods and tanks and cadres of men wearing condoms on their head, celebrating their victory over the feminine principle.

Bieeanshee fucked around with this message at 22:45 on Apr 28, 2013

goatface
Dec 5, 2007

I had a video of that when I was about 6.

I remember it being shit.



Grimey Drawer

Depends on your cloning method.

citybeatnik
Mar 1, 2013

You Are All
WEIRDOS





Bieeardo posted:

When you can clone people, you don't need mothers any more, do you?

Edit: True, but this is wWhite Wolf. They're probably thinking pods and tanks and cadres of men wearing condoms on their head, celebrating their victory over the feminine principle.

There's that, but I also reckon there's some kneejerk "CHILDREN ARE OF THE WYLD HOW ARE YOU USE WEAVER TECHNOLOGIES TO CREATE THEM!" involved.

Typically anything involving monastic orders in WW tend to end up being awesome. The Gangrel have that Franciscan order based off of Francis pimpslapping the wolf of gruppo, the Jesuits keep popping up all over the drat place...

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011


Did any authors of the oWerewolf books ever try to introduce the concept that the Wyld can flourish in a city? Or did they really stick to the 'PROGESS = WEAVER/STASIS' component to the mythos?

Count Chocula
Dec 25, 2011

WE HAVE TO CONTROL OUR ENVIRONMENT
IF YOU SEE ME POSTING OUTSIDE OF THE AUSPOL THREAD PLEASE TELL ME THAT I'M MISSED AND TO START POSTING AGAIN


CommissarMega posted:

I don't know; it sounds like your typical antagonist nation. If you hadn't pointed it out, I wouldn't have seen any connection to the Protocols at all. If anything, I'd rag on them for being too stereotypically evil.

Also, we need a video game in this setting right the gently caress NOW.

I love Eberton but Zilargo has bugged me from the first time I read about it. It does read like old anti-Jewish propaganda.

May I suggest splitting the Eberron and Forgotten Realms write-ups into another thread? They're two of the most popular settings for the most popular game, and there's so much to sperg about they'd benefit from having more space.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Tasoth posted:

Did any authors of the oWerewolf books ever try to introduce the concept that the Wyld can flourish in a city? Or did they really stick to the 'PROGESS = WEAVER/STASIS' component to the mythos?

If I recall, Bone Gnawers tries but not very hard.

Lemon-Lime
Aug 6, 2009


Count Chocula posted:

May I suggest splitting the Eberron and Forgotten Realms write-ups into another thread?

That would defeat the entire point of doing the write-ups (which is informing people who don't know Eberron of how awesome Eberron is).

pospysyl
Nov 10, 2012

SO EMBARRASSING



Tasoth posted:

Did any authors of the oWerewolf books ever try to introduce the concept that the Wyld can flourish in a city? Or did they really stick to the 'PROGESS = WEAVER/STASIS' component to the mythos?

That's pretty much the Glass Walker's whole schtick. They open up caerns in cities and generally try to negotiate a peace between the Weaver and the Wyld. The Bone Gnawers are a little bit better at finding pure Wyld spots in cities. One of the most important septs in the metaplot is a Bone Gnawer caern based in Central Park, and they even deal with the fact that every facet of the park was carefully calculated and designed.

sexpig by night
Sep 8, 2011

There have been 82631 posts made by sexpig by night, an average of 24.08 posts per day

The Democrats!


Yea in some book there's some really good writing where a Glass Walker straight says 'look Wyld is about the perfection of natural life, not about being a magic chaos force, it doesn't matter if a city park is carefully planned as long as the nature it gives shelter to is honored'.

Glass Walkers and Bone Gnawers are some of the cooler parts of old Werewolf.

dwarf74
Sep 2, 2012






Buglord



POWERS & PERILS 4.1 Culture Book Intro, A to B: Frustrating from the first drat page.

The Culture Book starts out with notes about how things are alphabetized and lets you know that if an entry starts with "The" it's a Barbarian land or an Empire. Glad we could ... narrow that down? (No word on why everything has apostrophes; I'm still trying to figure that one out.)

It also notes that players can use it to figure out what culture they're from, along with a fairly complex (of course!) method of figuring out what their starting languages are.

And then we start going insane. Wow, that didn't take long at all. No, really, I can't begin to imagine what kind of world-simulation BS spawned this next idea, but certainly ease of use was never factored into it.



There are 28 calendars. Twenty eight. To go from one to another, you need to add or subtract, except for a few weird ones where you don't. As a sort of footnote, this would be kind of but inoffensive. However, since this is Powers & Perils, these calendars are used throughout the sourcebook. If you are reading about A'Korchu, all dates in the entry will be in the A'Korchu calendar. Fomoria? The Fomorian calendar. And since the nations tend to interact by conquering one another, it's a clusterfuck. I know this might resemble historical reality; fine. But in the setting book, they could at least keep the drat thing consistent. A guy re-wrote it and fixed the dates - P&P's fans are pretty ardent about the game - but I won't be cheating by referencing it.

So let's get started! As the mood strikes, I might try to make parallels to real-world Eurasian cultures; feel free to fill in any blanks. I'll put in maps of each country; each hex is noted as 20 miles across.

4.1.1 The A'Ha'Kacili


First off, this image is from that big mega-jpg I linked to, last post. You can see all the weirdness and obvious places where there are mistakes at the edges. So yeah, quality work, folks! In the Map Book, you'd need to reference 4 different maps to get this kind of overview, on pages 2, 4, 5, and 8. Brilliant organization with that map book, guys.

The A'Ha'Korcili are nomadic religious fanatics. They have a holy city, Kacli, that non-believers can only be in from 8am to noon. If they're there after that, it's execution time. They worship the Peri (detailed in the Site Book), and placate Eblis. So they're kind of middle-eastern, but location-wise you'd expect these guys to be not-Tuareg or something. They're also complete assholes; three times a year, they sacrifice "[c]aptives, criminals and select virgins" to placate Eblis, the jinn, and ifreet. They're really good at being slavers, and as a result have strained relations with their neighbors. Oh, and women have no status. Women are only of value based on what strong sons she has. Polygamy is the rule, as you'd expect.

Anyway, the legal system is whack. Except for religious crimes, all crimes are tried through contests of skill or combat. Which seems kind of unfair, you know? But I guess expected for religious fanatics, maybe? Religious crimes are sentenced by the Mullahs.

So we're off to a great start, here - misogyny, slavery, and human sacrifice - it's like the grimdark trifecta. We'll see if we get any better...

4.1.2 A'Korchu (Gesundheit.)


Based on location, I was expecting this to be not-England. Boy was I off base. If the A'Ha'Kacili are assholes, the A'Korchi are king-kamehameha assholes. They used to have a great empire, but it's been on the decline forever. Now, their holdings are their island and a few other smaller islands. The royal family is apparently murder-happy; the first few paragraphs talk about how every emperor killed his brother/father/cousin, until A'chori the Great killed basically his whole family and proclaimed himself God Emperor, and was the first one to survive to die of natural causes. Then this is thrown in...

Note: The Korchi royal dynasty is half-human, long-lived, usually brilliant and often insane. In them flows the essence of the Beasts of Chaos.

So um... they're Melnibonean? Okay, cool. (Edit: Yep. Found on the web page, "The Korchi are a unique and ancient people. They tend to be dark-haired with pale complexions and light-builds. Pure-blooded Korchi are often albinos.")

They're self-sufficient and hate everyone, especially their neighbors. It's a "wealthy, industrious, and totalitarian realm that lives for conquest and the conversion of 'savages' to the wonders of the Korchi faith." So tell me about this faith!

"A'Korchu worship the Courts of Abbadon, especially its master. Their religion is steeped in ancient traditions that demand human sacrifice and strange ritual practices." So while the A'ha'korcili will kill infidels who are in their city at the wrong time, the A'korchi will forcibly convert you to Satan.

Culturally, you basically have to be a sociopath to advance; the attainment of power is all anyone wants. Legal system? Ha, what legal system? The ruling classes have no laws. For the non-elites, they're basically all slaves and every crime is punishable by death, ranging from a "simple spearing" to ritual sacrifice.

So wow, so far Perilous Lands seems full of assholes.

4.1.3 The Aratad Confederacy


These guys were part of the Empire of Ced until 1213LA. This correlates to 831SA, which is means it was 269 years ago and gently caress you, Powers & Perils. Anyway, at that point, they were invaded and occupied and their Empire never really pushed the invaders out. Instead, they allied with a few others and did it themselves, crowning their own king in 1231LA. When asked to re-join the Empire of Ced they said, "Um, no." They remained independent for about 68 years until they decided to invade Clima and got conquered in turn. They then turned into terrorists and eventually drove the Climans out under the leadership of the brilliant Phiros I; afterwards they declared a Confederacy and that's where we are now. Their current autocrat, Agnar the Invincible (son of Phiros I), is a pretty stand-up dude; his own son Phiros the Navigator is a brilliant Admiral, and will follow his daddy's footsteps.

Anyway, the Aratad Confederacy is a bit of a breath of fresh air after 2/2 entries featured human sacrifice. For one thing, they worship the Elf Sidh gods; it's a crime to attack an Elf here. The citizens are "uncompromising and militant" and always ready to turn a profit. Unlike the other places, it has a functional legal system that applies evenly to everyone, even the rulers. They're maybe a bit sadistic - it notes that punishments often fit crimes in an "ironic" way, like how rapists are blinded and castrated, arsonists are burned alive, etc. They only imprison people until sentenced, and they treat their prisoners well. It does not allow slavery, torture, or forced servitude. All things considered, it sounds like a decent place, and I'm glad it's not all grimdark.

4.1.4 The Assiran


The "The" indicates it's another barbarian tribe, much like the "The" in "The Aratad Confederacy" indicates it's ... um... well, these guys are a barbarian tribe, okay?

Anyway, think landbound mountain vikings. See that green patch in the map? That's Valheim, which is a civilized place. Most of these barbarians worship the Valhani Mysteries (think Norse Gods, including Tyr and Odin) and serve as Valheim's line of defense from the outside world. They're easy to get along with, so long as you don't violate any taboos. That's really all their is to say about them; they're barbarian tribes that protect a propserous land.

4.1.5 The Bal'Sani


Another Barbarian tribe with mountain/hill dwellers. These guys have four major divisions; three get along with each other and fight against the Empire of Ced. The fourth, the Col'ka, are allied with the Empire so the rest of their tribe hates them. All of them consider their mountains sacred; they worship the elder forces of earth, with Domiel as their chief god.

They're pretty savage, all things considered, and don't take prisoners ever. Each family is responsible for deciding and enforcing laws on their own land. They aren't ones for frontal assaults; they kill those who invade their sacred lands in efficient ways to minimize their losses. It notes that they're talented bandits, night fighters, and trackers. So essentially, they're terrifying murderers and you'd have to be insane to ever trespass in the Bal'sani Highlands.

4.1.6 Ba'rual


Ba'rual has had a hard existence. It seceded from an Empire which I think no longer exists. It was being invaded by Cholcharans, so allied with the nearby Zen'Da tribes to thwart the invaders. It's this friendship with the tribesfolk that's basically the entire reason it still exists. It's also led to problems...

When the Zen'Da tribes started invading nearby Marentia, Ba'ru served as a base of operations and its armies helped out. After those hostilities ended, it was peaceful and prosperous until L'p'nth, apparently jealous of all Ba'Rual's vowels, decided to invade. Only a year later, the Marentians liberated them and Ba'Rual joined in Marentia's war against L'p'nth. Then the L'p'nth sacked Ba'Ru again. Marentia liberated it again and "in exuberance" ... sacked Ba'Ru themselves. And now Ba'Ru is a "tributary ally" of Marentia. They're trying to get free.

Anyway, the Ba'Ruians (?) seem like nice, honest people. They worship the Gods of Law and are "incorruptible, intelligent, and literate." Yay, more countries that don't do the human sacrifice thing!

4.1.7 Bhamotin


On the map, Bhamotin is somewhere around Israel/Palestine/etc. in the real world, so you'd kind of expect something of that nature, no? You be the judge...

quote:

In the year 0BH (Note: 103SA), a column of fire fell from heaven and, speaking in tongues, ordered the warrior Bhamot to carry its message into the world. This was the Miracle of Bhamot, one of the cornerstones of the Bhamoti faith. For over 100 years after this event, the Bhamoti spread their new faith to the people on their island and sent missionaries into the hill around Lake Bhamot.

In the year 128BH a Rogizini Emir attempted to invade the island to check the spread of the new faith. His army was decimated and the Bhamoti seized the hills south of Lake Bhamot. After their victory, the Bhamoti expanded into the Black Forest, converted its people and built a civilization. In the year 136BH, they founded Kasha to celebrate their victories for the faith. Three generations of peace followed the founding of Kasha.

Radical theologians believe that this peace, when Adonai wished that his word be spread, caused the century of pain that followed. Beginning around the year 197BH, Bhamotin suffered from serious plagues, Climan raids and Rogizini ambushes. In the year 313BH they fought a major war with the Cerulean Empire and were badly beaten. For the next 45 years, they paid the Ceruleans a yearly tribute in order to retain their independence.

I mean, if you call your chief god Adonai, you're not even trying to hide your influences. But it's kind of like they took that, but had Crusaders conquer the Holy Land because their army is made of 15 Chivalrous Orders, wearing Plate, Chain, lots of cavalry, etc. They are noted as "fanatically Lawful" in service to Metatron (again, not hiding anything) and are intolerant of all other faiths. Heresy, sacrilege, and other religious crimes are the worst thing you can do. Nevertheless, the people tend to be both generous and devout unless (I'm guessing) you worship another god or something.

There's a big part about some crazy huge prison work camp where people die a lot. It's kinda weird, just stuck in here, but I guess okay for adventuring? I dunno. Despite the religious fanaticism, it's definitely a nicer place than, say, A'Korchu.

...and that's it for A and B. Next time, C (is for Clima)!

dwarf74 fucked around with this message at 01:53 on Apr 29, 2013

Fossilized Rappy
Dec 26, 2012



Chapter 2, Part 2: Angels and Other Higher Powers
Angels
With season 4 of Supernatural, the angels were revealed in opposition to the demons, and it was with this mostly season 4-oriented sourcebook that the angels were given stats for the Supernatural RPG. On an overall level, angels are rather similar to demons. They possess a human vessel, boosting their physical attributes (Strength and Vitality in particular, Agility less so) and replacing their mental attributes with the angel's own. Rather than dying like mortals or leaving their vessel like demons do, an angel that takes too much wound damage auto-poofs away unless they are hit by a celestial blade, the one weapon that can truly kill them. They also gain their own unique traits that human or other supernatural characters don't have in addition to more standard ones such as Telekinesis:
  • Angelic Wings: Not wings in the literal sense so much as a special type of teleportation skill. The trait can be ranked from d4 to d12, each rank having higher and higher abilities such as transporting into dreams or teleporting others along with the angel.
  • Armor of Faith: Rating from d2 to d12, Armor of Faith effectively gives damage reduction of its die size to the angel. It's bypassed by attacks powered by will or celestial blades.
  • Divine Senses: The angel gets the Clairvoyance, ESP, and Medium traits all for the cost of one trait, but with the penalty of the proper Enochian symbols warding mortals from all three forms of sight.
  • Higher Power: The angel can do magic angel things. Just what the extent of this is varies by die size, from mere "handy coincidences" at d2 to basically being able to do anything possible within the constraints of reality (this being a reality where magic and monsters are real, of course) at d12.
  • Purifying Light: A unique attack against demons and spirits. The trait at d4 is "laying on of hands" to expel such creatures or destroy them on an extraordinary success of a skill check, d6 allows for it to be used as a ranged attack, and d8, d10, and d12 each allows another secondary target to be struck by the attack in addition to the primary one.

As for actual angel stats, they're all of named angels from the show: Anna Milton, Castiel, Uriel, and Zachariah. Suffice to say, three of them are dead, one of them is the Winchesters' best buddy most of the time, and they all have rather similar traits, so I'd say it's not really worth going over their statistics.

Reapers
For some reason, reapers are included in this chapter as a brief note before one more special angel gets discussed. Long story short, they have the Spirit trait and lack physical attribute scores just like ghosts, and don't really fight so much as wait and take people's souls to the afterlife.

Lucifer
The big fallen archangel himself, Lucifer was the main villain of season 5 of Supernatural before the Winchesters put him back in the Pit. Like the other archangels (for the most part), Luci doesn't get any stats, being more of a frightful force of nature than a presence the players could fight if he somehow managed to get back out of the Pit.

The Heaven vs. Hell Campaign
Like the ghost-centric campaign, the angels and demons-centric campaign is more about learning your enemy than fighting. Sure, some demons might be taken out in action scenes, but it's meant to be played as humans being toys in the middle of a war between two paranormal powerhouses from other planes of existence.

------------------------------------------------------

Next time: chapter 3, Gods and Monsters, where things start to get far off the beaten path of established Supernatural foes.

Quinn2win
Nov 9, 2011

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




Giant Allege Part 6: The Actual Combat Rules are 2 Pages Long

So, initiative!

At the start of each phase of the game that is marked with "determine timing", everyone rolls their Timing stat to determine turn order. When your turn comes up, if you aren't last, you can Fold to delay your turn. Once everyone has either gone or Folded, then the turn starts over, using only characters who Folded before. This process repeats until everyone has acted.

It is a pretty simple concept, but the book manages to make it this confusing:



With that sorted, it's time for some COMBAT RULES



Holy poo poo that sure is a flowchart. Let's break it down:

1. Roll Timing and act in Timing Order! Pick your target and begin an attack.
2. Roll opposed Quick against their mech! Whoever wins gets to make an attack.
3. If the attacker wins the attack roll, then they deal damage.
4. If the attacker loses, then the defender can counter with an attack of their own.
5. If, after all this, neither combatant is at zero armor, go back to step 2 and repeat until somebody explodes.

To make an attack, the attacker rolls Break against the defender's Armor. If the attacker gets more 1's than the defender, then the amount of 1's they won by, multiplied by the attacker's Break, is the damage inflicted, and the defender's Armor is reduced by that much. To put this into perspective, the sample character, Prosecutor J, has 8 Break and 11 Armor. If you win by more than a single 1, then this is probably going to be an instant kill.

Attack rolls actually don't consider any numbers above 1 in the roll, so ties are possible. If you tie, then the attacker inflicts chip damage on the defender, equal to the number of 1's they rolled. If the defender wins, thetn they inflict chip damage back on the defender equal to the numer of 1's the attacker rolled. Then, the defender can counterattack! Run through the same process again, with attacker and defender reversed. After this, the battle ends - no option to do a second counterattack if the defender wins in the counterattach phase.

Anyway, that's the general flow for combat between Giant Allege. However, in most battles, not everyone willl have Alleges deployed. People combt is a little different!

For direct battles between Lawyers, everyone involved rolls to determine their Fighting Strength - the actual roll depends on their weapon (gun, fist or sword) as described in the last post. This roll is used for the previously-described surprise attacks that let you force an opponent to switch camps or reduce their stats or swap Giant Alleges. If you beat someone in a non-surprise mano-a-mano battle, then you inflict damage on them equal to the number of 1's you rolled, which reduces their Fighting Strength accordingly. If Fighting Strength reaches 0, then you can't continue fighting.

A Lawyer fighting on foot against an Allege is something that is generally only done in emergencies. These fights work approximately the same way as Allege vs Allege fights, except the Lawyer uses Fighting Strength in place of both Break and Armor. Whether the Lawyer succeeds at offense or defense, the damage they inflict is never more than the number of 1's they rolled.



This is a picture of a Giant Allege named Mash Cerberus. Next time, we get to the list of Allege frames and equipment as we rapidly approach the end of the book.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012







This is the last update for this book, soon we will be free.


No, seriously, explain it to me again, what the gently caress am I doing here?

Chapter 8: Opening of the Eyes

So Mei-Fei wakes up and there's a celebration going on outside; a riot of color, clapping, and cheering. She walks outside to ask a Gukutsushi what's going on, to which she replies, "A New fox is being born." And then the twins of smug pop up out of nowhere to finish the sentence, "Be sure to congratulate the father," "Before he leaves."

The Gukutsushi points beneath a willow tree and laughs, when Mei runs over there it turns out it's Uncle Hu!


"Sondok's kit is in a hurry to enter the world, Mei-Fei. Forgive our child's impetuous nature; it has cut short my guardianship." and he dies. Then Mei-Fei discovers that she can't cry, so she stumbles back to the party laughing.

Have I mentioned that I really hate how Kitsune have a racial imperative to not be sad? Because it's dumb as hell.

Character

quote:

So you want to pay a Fox. May we congratulate you on your excellent taste? The Kitsune are magical, cunning, practical and proud - the youngest of Gaia's servants, the bright young things of the Bete, the only shapeshifters who don't incite the Delirium in humans, the only Changing Breed to breed true, the sole race to climb up out of beasthood on their own... well we could go on and on. In fact, we will.
God drat it. I really wish this book could climb up out of it's own rear end into realm of objectivity once in a while. But no, the Kitsune are the special snowflakes in an entire culture of special snowflakes and they will not let you forget it.

Prelude
From a Kitsune's birth they're marked as something different. Their birth is supernaturally painful and both parents experience it no matter how distant they are. The mortal parent has a 10% chance of surviving the process, the Kitsune parent has a 90% chance (there's one exception which I'll get to later). It's worth noting that these are independent chances. Both parents can live or both can die.
The book then states that all Changing Breeds are born of loss in some way, and that the Kitsune in particularly flourish despite this tragedy, so that when it comes time to open their eyes they are ready to assume their role as Luna's favorite children.

Blessings
Kitsune can learn any gift, any gift. They still need to find teachers, though, which is supposed to be the limitation though I think the people who wrote this book forgot that. They can enter the umbra as easily as the Garou. And their crinos/hispo teeth deal Aggravated damage. Also the whole "tails=immortality" thing.

Maledictions
Again they bring up the whole "MY MOTHER IS DEAADDD" thing. Also Kitsune heal like mortals do, they don't regenerate. They don't incite the Delirium, and they can only Fox Frenzy.

There's a Sidebar here about the Obligatory Abomination Question. "Never mind the fact that 99 out of 100 Western Vampires have no idea what a Kitsune is, let alone whether one would make a good childe or not - if it moves a Canite will probably try sucking its blood, giving it the Embrace, and showing off his new Blood Bound pet to the prince." Of course Gaia (White Wolf) has something to say about that. If a drop of vitae hits the tongue of a freshly drained Kitsune corpse, they burst into a pillar of flames, as does their sire. It's supposed to be White Wolf basically going 'stop trying to cross-over every god damned thing you twink idiots'. But it comes off as "The Kitsune are so special they kill vampires FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE!"

Breeds
"Kitsune Parents know instantly when one of their kits is born a Fox" so there aren't any Lost Kits unless their Kitsune parent died before their first change. So apparently Kitsune can't be born to two kinfolk parents.

Kojin
Human born. They're usually strange, distant children who are sure something's being kept from them. They're almost always Asian. Sharp eyed, slender, manipulative, and hyperactive adolescents. The first change is traumatic but they recover quickly since "they always knew they were special."

Roko
Fox-born. Their kit-hoods are harder than other foxes since they lack a parent, which seems to imply that Female Roko just abandon their children.

Shinju
Metis. The children of two Kitsune. Remember that exception to the 90% survival rate? This is it, each parent has a 50/50 chance to live or die. They're not deformed or sterile either. They're just rare since the cost of losing a Kitsune to birth a Kitsune are very high. They're also loving insufferable. The Special Snowflakes of the Special Snowflakes of the Special Snowflakes. This is supposed to be offset by the the fact that they realize they're held to a higher standard and have a crippling fear of failure.

Paths

Paths are kitsune auspices. Uniquely they're chosen by the Kitsune themselves during a special Rite. Mechanically this means little as you're unlikely to make an Ahroun with 1 strength anyway.

The Elements
Each of the paths is tied to an element, but they use the 'corner' elements, lightning, lava, clay, and fog. I don't mind this that much, since it's presented less as "They're so special they get *two* elements" and more "They realize it's more practical to do things this way as they aren't completely alienating anyone."

See Moon there in the middle? Remember that

Doshi
The Sorcerers, aligned to Lightning. Masters of Magic and talking to spirits. They're slightly wyrm tainted due to those two foxes that stole the gift from the Black Spiral Dancer. Nonetheless they subscribe to the school of using evil against evil, though this makes them somewhat detached from the rest.
Rage 3
"Tell me this - if the way of virtue crossed a very wide stretch of mud, would you leave the path to go around or would you go ahead and get your feet dirty?"

Eji
The Warriors, aligned to Lava. They're described as the "Cavaliers" of the kitsune. They act like surgeons, cutting out Gaia's cancers to save the patient. They will not hesitate to kill someone if they have to, but they've got a great respect for life, and will usually go out of their way to save innocents.
Rage 4
"The Sixth Age may well be the promised time for people like you, but that doesn't mean you're entitled to be around to see it."

Gukutsushi
The Dreamweavers, aligned to Fog. Masters of the mind and illusion, equal parts trickster and healer. They're usually Leaves or Mirrors, but when angered they're perfectly capable of getting in your head and making you jump in front of a bullet train (That's the given example. I didn't make it up)
Rage 2
"Oh, I'm sure 'vehemently virulent' is merely poetic exaggeration. You know how those scientists get when they don't get much fresh air. You're probably perfectly safe right here. Yes?"

Kataribe
The Bard, aligned to Clay. They're the builders and doers, almost directly opposed to the Eji and Doshi. They tell tales and make art, and get along best with the Beast Courts since they care about the ages before Bai Mianxi.
Rage 2
"My dearest General, such a thing was only done once before by Yin Qung-Fa the Staff of Harmony, and even he required the assistance of two Nezumi pallbearers! Do you not know the story? Here, then, let me tell you, and you may analyze his plan and tell me how we shall best imitate it."

Abilities
The storyteller is encouraged to include the secondary skills of Calligraphy and Origami to make life easier for practitioners of Ju-Fu. "Besides, expert calligraphers are highly respected throughout the East."

There's a sidebar Here on Kitsune-go which is the Kitsune language. It's full of Japanese vocab because it's apparently really hard to form Mandarin tonal inflection with a muzzle.

Batsu
Batsu are your allies and friends. It's literally the Allies stat from other WOD games with a different name.

Clan
This is the Kinfolk stat, except since Kitsune don't invoke the delirium, it can include anyone you consider family.

Go-En
Contacts, it's Contacts. Only difference is that you don't get 'major' contacts like other people do.

Sempai
Mentor, though Kitsune can sometimes be adopted as a 'mascot' by a sentai and thus have 5 mentors for the price of one.
That said the five dot example deserves special attention

Apparently Luna Beast Sentai Gaiamon exists in universe, and if you spend enough dots they're your best friends and teach you gifts all the time.

Forms
The Kitsune forms are nowhere near as combat effective as Garou are, but they're apparently elegant and beautiful. "So what if they could have been stronger or tougher, or could have wings? Being Kitsune is more important than that, thank you very much." in case you forgot that Kitsune are more important than everyone else. In any of these forms they can manifest one or all of their tails with a gnosis roll agains the gauntlet. though their Crinos through fox forms have to show at least one.

Hitogata: Homid form.

Sambuhenge: it's apparently comical in appearance, particularly when compared to Glabro. Their body mass remains the same but their ears point, eyes, become thin and slanted, nose lengthens, and whiskers sprout. Kitsune take it rarely as a result.


It's bigfoot!

Koto: It's only an inch or two taller than Hitogata, and not much bulkier. It's a half-fox form. Kitsune rarely take it unless for courtly affairs, impressing visitors, or for the comfort of extra fur, but they never do that unless assured of their privacy, for some reason. They can bite for str+1 agg damage but that's usually a last resort.

Juko: A wolf sized fox, they've got surprisingly dextrous mouths(?) and some kitsune train themselves to fight with a dagger in this form (for the stat bonuses, probably).

Kyubi: It's a fox. Usually Red, though apparently they're capable of interbreeding with Gray Foxes, but not more exotic breeds. Which is odd since Red foxes are more closely related to Fennecs than Gray foxes, but I'll accept this because it implies that there are Kitsune in Europe and America.


Apparently the Koto Form foxes are beautiful, too.

Jyu-Ho
Gifts Gifts Gifts Gifts Gifts! Kitsune LOVE gifts!
I'll only go over the notable ones.


That said, there's a sidebar here that says that if the storyteller will allow it, Kitsune can take Sorcery paths from WoD: Sorcerer. Since "Hedge magic is very foxy." It's just another way the writer wanted to make foxes special.

Seduction Homid Gift. There's not really much to this one beyond the fact that the storyteller is encouraged to roll this one without the players knowledge for "pure Mischief".

Carrion Clothes Roko Gift. Play dead, to the point that you actually begin to rot.

Imperial Authority Shinju Gift. You're so self important that you can impose your will over *anyone*, even other Hengeyokai. They'll automatically assume you're above them in whatever hierarchy they're in.

Blessing the Blade Doshi Gift. Binding a spirit into a blade to deal Aggravated damage. You can either use it in combat, or prepare a blade outside of combat. You need to have a specific enemy in mind when you 'cast' it, and wrap the blade in cloth or leather inscribed with the targets name to hold the spirit. Flavorful as hell and I love it.

Blood Omen Another Doshi Gift. This is the gift that they stole from the Black Spirals. They're very careful to avoid using hengeyokai, or wolves, or anyone's kinfolk... or humans.. usually.

Bolt Eji Gift. Calling upon an element to create a lethal bolt of lightning, fire, ice, wind or (the best part) more exotic element, depending on which spirit taught it to you. You want to launch a bolt of deadly molten plastic? Go right ahead. Bolt of rusty screws? More power to you. Do you want to fire a tree trunk at someone for 7 aggravated damage? There's the forest, find a spirit.

Call of the Dead Eji Gift. Spend a Rage and Gnosis point, and make a difficult Stamina + Occult roll. Depending on your successes people don't take damage, they're just set to a certain damage level. If you roll 5 successes, they're set to wounded from Aggravated damage, if they're human they just flat out die.

Dragon Ally Another Eji Gift(they got the fun ones). You need a large amount of a particular element to do so (Strong wind, bonfire, pool or a stream), and you can summon a dragon. It's stats are based on your successes. at 3 successes it's 15 feet long, has 15 health levels, 6 soak dice, deals 6 Agg on attacks, and can attack twice a turn. You roll Gnosis to summon it, the stat you have no reason to keep low.

Violation Gukutsushi Gift. The bard touches a target and they're overcome with feelings of revulsion and defilement.

Kuei Dance Kataribe Gift. The Kitsune beings a tale, then calls the dead to bear witness and finish it. It compels the truth, not cooperation, but most dead spirits are eager to be avenged and will tell the truth to see it done.

Puppeteer's Secret General Gift. You fit in anywhere. If you go to the police station, everyone thinks you've been a cop for years. If you go to a Party meeting, you're the faithful, if dull, member. You need to be at least somewhat appropriate in costume, and you have to be acting the part. But if you're a janitor you an sweep the same patch of floor for 3 years and no one will notice or care.

Ju-Fu
"The Most Elegant Sorcery Ever Devised", using Ju-Fu a kitsune can set aside excess Gnosis for use later in the form of Ju-Fu. What's more, spirits don't hesitate to be bound into Ju-Fu since they're by definition temporary. The paper must be 'natural' and easily destroyed. Photocopier paper or magazine pages are out of the question! Similarly the ink must be natural as well, squid or octopus ink work. Blood, lampblack, ocher, and egg yolk work too. Most of these are Origami, some are described as Ofuda charms.

Flaming Crane? Ho Hum, that poo poo just happens every day when you're the most awesome fox ever.

They can make food appear in a paper cup, turn an origami animal into a real animal, trap a target inside a room until the Kami is destroyed(walk out a door, you climb back in through a window), or just toss a charm someone from the umbra and they get abducted into the umbra to join you.

Rites

There are only two rites given, The Opening of the Eyes which is performed on a Kitsune shortly before their first change to help them adapt, "soon they are as mirthful as any other fox". The other is the Rite of the Crossroads which is the rite depicted in the chapter image, where a kid chooses their Path. You set down four bowls of water at a crossroad or doorway, say the proper prayers, and each of the bowls turns into one of the elements. I don't mean figuratively. The kit must reach into the bowl of their choice and it hurts like HELL for Eji and Doshi. At the end they're officially rank 1 in their new auspice.

Renown
To outsiders, the foxes say that they value Wisdom, Honor and Glory, just as the Werewolves do. This is truthful, but it is misleading, because they're Foxes. Better translations of their terms for Renown are below.
That said, Kitsune don't care about renown, renown is something the other shapeshifters do that the Kitsune have to follow to be polite. What they do care about is rank, because rank means more tails. Except you need renown to gain rank and therefore tails, so they should care about renown.

The book only has rules for Kitsune of five tails or less. It doesn't need to go into more detail than that because "No player character is going to earn his sixth tail by the time the Apocalypse comes." Thanks for stopping us from having fun for the sake of your realism in a game with shapeshifting fox people, Hengeyokai.

Each of these entries has a section going into the analysis of the Japanese characters used, since those are important. I'm honestly somewhat leery that they're even using the correct characters but I don't want to try to extract them since they're superimposed under the text.
Chie
It's Wisdom. But Foxes see it more as "Intelligence, cleverness, and ingenuity" The ideal of Chie is to get two enemies to kill each other while you're out getting a drink 3 countries away.
Toku
Honor. But more Virtue, Ethical Character, or Moral Excellence. It's the Kitsune's unwillingness to compromise what it is to be a Kitsune, and unwavering dedication to the Foxes' goals.
Kagayaki
Glory. but "radiance or magnificence suits it better." Which makes me wonder if they're the kind of assholes who use "Ore-Sama" (My Most Esteemed Self) as a pronoun. Foxes don't give a drat about battle prowess, except as far as it makes them look better to the other Hengeyokai who actually do care. Kagayaki is given to a Kitsune "Who do 'good deeds' in the sight of anyone that matters".

At the end of the chapter is an Experience chart that shows that Kitsune get out-of-clan gifts at the cost that most other Hengeyokai pay for general Hengeyokai gifts. 4/5ths of the cost. cause they're special.


Appendix: Nobles among Nobles
As one final gently caress you before we're sent off into the realm of sample characters and Iconic NPCs, we get this.

quote:

Mei-Fei followed Katsuko along the trail, and knelt where she was bid - at a spot where a fox run intersected the footpath. The Moon-Saint vanished into the trees to her right, and the Nogitsune patiently waited for the test(it must be another test, she thought) to begin.
At last, the shadows on her left flickered. She looked up expecting the Sun-Devil, but met a darker gaze.
"Father?"
"Quiet."
He carried four blackened iron bowls. Without a sound he set them down around her - left, right, before and behind - along the paths but outside the crossroads.
"Bow to your Imperial Mother."
Mei pressed her face to the soil.
"Bow to your noble Aunt."
Mei stood and honored the Moon.
"Four bowls. Your life rests at the bottom of one. Choose."
Mei looked at each in turn. She saw the lightning; she saw the clouds. She saw the river bottom; she saw the fires of the earth.
At her feet lay a fifth black bowl - a bowl her father had not set there - full of liquid silver, and she reached for it.
Yup, even the POV character is better than you. A Special Snowflake five times over, she has her own auspice.

Underground Shaman: Doshi

A fortuneteller, medium, herbalist, midwife, hedge wizard, whatever people think you are, play the part. You need to find the men and women still living the true way "monkeys as they should be, not the savaged hulks crippled by Weaver and Wyrm." So, what, you're meant to find the people living naked in the trees eating bananas? You can't keep saying that we've strayed from the path and not say what the path is supposed to be? Of course if you do that you become preachy, so maybe it's best to just not bring it up in the first place.

Neighborhood Hero: Eji

It's werefox Jackie Chan, they don't even try to hide it.

Fox Woman: Gukutsushi

quote:

Both of your parents were Kitsune, both of your parents lived. You were the wonder of wonders - the most special secret of their court, the mascot of their sentai - even the Dragon's Darling. Every Fox of any status peeked in on you; in short, you grew up spoiled rotten, witty, winsome, and too charming for anybody's good.
HENGEYOKAIIIIIII!!!!

It's supposed to be a Femme Fatale but I don't care anymore.

Ears of Inari: Kataribe

A sneaky spy fox, that's basically it. The description for this one is even shorter than Foxy Chan.

Kitsune of Note
"ALL Kitsune are 'of note', at least to themselves, and the breed itself is so young that few Fox deeds have been forgotten. Therefore, this would be a very long chapter if a Nine-Tails had a hold of it."
Stop it.

Bai Mianxi
She's probably still alive, as human sorcerers couldn't actually kill her. They did almost kill her and she escaped to a human shrine to Inari, where she was laid upon his altar. Then something happened and now she's living with Luna on the moon.

The Prince Inari
He... exists, and the Kitsune think he's loving amazing. Apparently he 'left the world' by walking into a shrine to Inari at Kyoto and just disappearing. No one knows where he went, even the Caern Guardian, which is apparently quite a feat. Most Kitsune think he's one and the same with the Shinto Deity now.

Fukutenjin
Again, a Japanese deity, this time the God of Good Fortune, who is apparently also a Kitsune. This one is just kind of there.

Trung Water-Walker a.k.a. Sukuna-Bikona, Wind-Chaster, Alistair-Mittleham-Trent, Argonaut, Yellow-Dust-Boy, Rollaway Potato, Spicy-Joe-China...(etc)
No, seriously.

Apparently when the Westerners first came to Korea he snuck on board one of their ships and traveled the world four times over before returning home, sharing stories of what he saw. Then he went back and is still traveling today.

Shining-Cresent, Flame-White-Crane, Death-of-Ice, Broken-Sky-Ashes
I can't be sure, but this is probably Mei-Fei's Father. A spoiled rotten Shinju, of course. He saw the silver bowl too, apparently, but it disappeared as soon as he touched it, so he reached for lightning as well, "sure that it marked him special even among Foxes".
His sentai caught up with a Kuei-Jin Wu in San Diego and lost their Pillar in battle. When they were finally able to try and collect his body they found a young woman trying to revive him with CPR, and she did not run when they showed her their war forms. Anyways, without a pillar the Sentai disbanded, and Flame-White-Crane and Sondok(see?) stayed behind. He was trying to bring her back to China with him, but suddenly she was pregnant and of course she died and now he lives like a hermit in a cave. Sound familiar?

And that's it!
That's how Hengeyokai ends.

Honestly, I like the Kitsune as a concept. The first chapter actually made them seem interesting and playable, if only slightly full of themselves.

Then I read the rest of the book.

Revised made great strides to excise as much of the "WE'RE BETTER THAN YOU!" as they could, while also giving them some extra mechanical benefits to cover for the fact that they can't really take a hit. I really don't have an issue with Kitsune being able to learn any gift as they're supposed to be the 'magic-y splat' and they still have to pay XP for all of those gifts, and find teachers, meaning the ST can stop them from learning every gift under the sun if he wants to.
I do have a problem with them not only thinking that they're better than everyone else, but to also have the book scream it at me on every page. I hope the 20th anniversary Changing Breeds book that's coming out later this year continues the trend of 'not making them smug assholes', but we'll see.

Kurieg fucked around with this message at 04:53 on Apr 29, 2013

Count Chocula
Dec 25, 2011

WE HAVE TO CONTROL OUR ENVIRONMENT
IF YOU SEE ME POSTING OUTSIDE OF THE AUSPOL THREAD PLEASE TELL ME THAT I'M MISSED AND TO START POSTING AGAIN


The Kitsune sound like a whole race of Cat from Red Dwarf, only not in on the joke.

Pththya-lyi
Nov 8, 2009

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2020

I always assumed that the Zilargo folks were mean to be literal Gnomes of Zürich, and Keith Baker failed to realize the Unfortunate Implications that come with evil banker plots. I mean, Zilargo and Zürich both start with a Z, and Zürich is a historic Protestant stronghold.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Pththya-lyi posted:

I always assumed that the Zilargo folks were mean to be literal Gnomes of Zürich, and Keith Baker failed to realize the Unfortunate Implications that come with evil banker plots. I mean, Zilargo and Zürich both start with a Z, and Zürich is a historic Protestant stronghold.

Zilargo explicitly has no influence or control over the banks, though. That's House Kundark, who are dwarves. Zilargo is the land of spies and schemers... which admittedly makes it hard to distinguish from the rest of Khorvaire at times.

Mimir
Nov 26, 2012


You got your Nobilis in my Dungeons and Dragons! Yeah, well, you got your Dungeons and Dragons in my Exalted! (In 1986)

Have you got all the levels? Has your group of mid-80’s players killed more than enough dragons to literally last a lifetime? Do you have a ready collection of Artifacts and Magic Items you might be willing to pawn to a godlike creature in exchange for a shot at power and immortality?

If so, then perhaps the time has come to no longer worry about lifetimes. Perhaps it is time to no longer worry about the concerns of the flesh. Perhaps it’s time to read Dungeons and Dragons Immortal Rules, which covers the level where you transcend your mortal shell to become a godlike being of pure thought. That one comes right after 36. We'll also cover the later Mystara supplement Wrath of the Immortals, which is a revision and reprint of the same.

Look at how metal this cover is:


Pictured: A loinclothed man shooting lightning out of his hands, while being friends with a dragon. A space castle and space planets lie in the background. What a hyperspatial-badass/weirdo. Previous covers in the BECMI series feature:
Basic: A viking fighting a Red Dragon with sword and shield in a dungeon.
Expert: A viking on horseback fighting a Bronze Dragon with a sword and shield in the wilderness.
Companion: A man in sensible plate armor fighting a Green Dragon with a glowing sword, with a castle in the background.
Master: A badass king riding a Gold Dragon by holding on by it’s fur, with a city and landscape far below. He appears to be using a sword as a riding crop, and he wears a crown and flowing kingly cape. What a badass.

Cover analysis: Dragons just want to be your friends. Be friends with them and maybe gain vast magical power.


These rules originate is from the same line that brought us Basic D&D, and the Red Box that Wizards redid for Fourth Edition a little while back. The first one was designed was designed to introduce players to the game, with large-font text and clear instructions. We're way past that point now. The sets continued on, through four more boxes, of increasing complexity. Note that while the first three books are Suitable For Ages 10 And Up, the Master Rules necessitate an age of at least 12, and Immortal Rules require that you be 14 to play. There's an assumption that the only people who are going to use this product are those who have already been playing through a pretty long campaign. Probably a four year one. Which might've limited sales a bit.

The Basic Set was levels 1-3, Expert Set levels 4-14, Companion Set, 15-25, and Master Set, 26-36. The BECMI rules were later compiled in the Rules Cyclopedia, which is alreadu being reviewed here. That book only covered the first four Boxed Sets, leaving the Immortals Rules for a 1991's Wrath of the Immortals. Why? Because the Immortal Rules went beyond levels entirely, and also probably page count was a factor. Except actually Immortal Rules had a different kind of levels, which we’ll get into later.

What’s it about?

It’s about playing as a god. Much like in Scion, Exalted, or Nobilis, Immortals can throw around a whole lot of magical power . They can cast spells whenever they want, with a few limits. They can cast spells like a Clerid, Druid, or Magic-User. They can shapeshift and go incorporeal, throw planets around, and terrify puny mortals with their aura. They are entirely immune to mortal magic and almost entirely immune to their nonmagical attacks. They would be broken, if they cared about the regular rules at all.

They fight thirty miles long brain worms, planets, and Death itself.

But for all that, there’s a glaring omission in Immortals. See, as much as It’s about playing as a god, and as it happens, advertising a game that allows you to play as a god in 1986, at the height of the Dungeons and Dragons satanic craze was a bad idea. So despite the fact that Immortals are the beings of godlike power, who are (sometimes, debatably) guys that grant clerics their power, and who they worship and it is noted in the text that "In the rare cases when they are indiscreet, mortals often may think them to be gods." They aren’t gods, we swear. Playing an Immortal as they are described is often closer, in a sense, to playing this guy.



Because of the ban on religious references, the Immortal Rules have no stats or reference to any gods or myths, or indeed any stats for any NPC immortals at all. No Zeus, no Thor, not even Pflarr or Rad. It does have stats for Orcus and Demogorgon though, which says a lot about TSR's tact. Wrath of the Immortals fixes this, with a whole section on the Deities Immortals of Mystara. Those do include the Norse gods, apparently. There are some sections of Wrath of the Immortals that are straight-up reprints of Immortal Rules, but it's a got much more sensible and cleaned-up text, and the rules seem to make more sense. But I’m defaulting to the Immortal Rules anyway - because it’s a purer strain of crazy, which is what we're going for in these reviews, after all. I'll be switching back and forth willy-nilly. Wrath also includes a series three linked adventures that advance the metaplot of Mystara, because you need to get your money’s worth with this product. It isn’t about about playing as a shapeshifting demigod, so I don't really care about it. I might review it anyway at the end if there’s interest.

Lastly, before I dive in, I’d like to note that while I’m not the most familiar with these two books, I was pretty amazed by the 3.0 Epic Level Handbook when I was younger, which is worthy more than of a full write-up both here and in the Murphy’s Rules thread. I also got my hands on a PDF of the Immortal Bestiary which my much younger self thought it was cool in a hyperinflationistic sort of way, and which was covered a bit in the last thread. It turns out that, unbeknownst to me, those two books were taking their fluff out of Immortal’s playbook, but in an OGL context, with a much larger number of dice. Everything neat about those two books makes much more sense in light of this one.

Or possibly much less sense.

I’m not sure.

Next time: Prefaces! Descriptions of spheres! OVERVIEWS!

Mimir fucked around with this message at 13:51 on Apr 29, 2013

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
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oMage: Dragons of the East

So, time to talk about the shen, the other supernaturals. They have a vague approximation of peace in Asia, but it's really more a cold war. Go the wrong place, say the wrong thing, they will kill you as fast as any Westerner. They still tell stories about Li Fong, a diplomat who spent 206 days being tortured alive by Kuei-jin before they sent his body back to the Wu Lung. Speaking of Kuei-jin, Mages tend to prefer the slightly more cromulent name 'Wan Kuei' for them. They don't get on very well, of course. The Wan Kuei are ruthless, cunning and dangerous, and tend to be very frustrated with wizards. After all, wizards get enlightenment in decades when Wan Kuei spend centuries seeking it. Also both groups are really, really, really arrogant. So, for the most part, they actively avoid each other. Traditionally, the largest Chantries tend to keep someone with experience diplomatically handling the Wan Kuei around, though, just in case. The Vajrapani Akashics are also noted for hunting Wan Kuei sometimes, though such demon hunters tend to die young and messy.

The Wu Lung believe that even the Wan Kuei have a place in the Celestial Bureaucracy, though what that place is is up for debate. Still, traditional animosity between Chinese Wan Kuei and the Wu Lung has led to fierce rivalry over the centuries, especially in the Imperial court, when it existed. Their intrigues play out over years and centuries. Some Wu Lung believe the rise of Communism was a Wan Kuei plot, while others dismiss that as paranoia. Still, the fact remains that in the 40s and 50s, the Wan Kuei were willing to hide Wu Lung in exchange for "favors to be named later."

Sidebar: The Chinese Kuei-jin have been expanding lately, usually at the expense of Western vampires. For the most part, mages are not involved in this. Most who are even aware of this 'Great Leap Outward' tend to think the Kuei-jin should fix their own problems before trying to conquer. Of course, the Asian Technocracy gladly shares any information it has on vampires with the American Technocrats, and though the Technocracy puts a low priority on them, an all-out war will probably attract attention. A few Akashics have also followed the Wan Kuei out, often to settle personal grudges. The Wu Lung are most directly affected - some of those favors from 50 years ago are being called in.

The Japanese Kuei-jin, the Gaki, are known to divide themselves up into clans called 'uji'. Since the Meiji Restoration, two uji have dominated, the traditional Bishamon and the modernist Genji. Other uji exist, and mages tend to find them confusing. Originally, most mages favored the Bishamon when dealing with gaki, but the continuing evolution of the Chi'n Ta and the reality of modern Japan has led to changes. Now, mages deal with whichever gaki suits their purposes. The Genji seem to have some kind of deal with the Zaibatsu, or at least the two groups don't bother each other. The Japanese supernaturals like to speculate about possible relationships between the Go Kamisori Gama and the Koga and Iga ujis. Members of these "ninja clans" have learned to just smile and nod.

The Korean kuei-jin are famous as negotiators, thanks to being stuck between the Chinese Wan Kuei and the gaki. Also they seem obsessed with necromancy. Mages of Spirit can often find vampires to talk philosophy with there. It makes the Korean vampires interesting...though it's a bad idea to mistake them for "friendly." The southeast Asian kuei-jin, well, Mages tend to listen to the Wan Kuei on this and dismiss them as barbarians. In truth, they're a diverse group of vampire courts, each with their own customs, and the wise mage keeps in mind that each nation has different vampiric customs.

Sidebar: On very rare occasions, it is said that the Kuei-jin can father children. These half-living creatures are called dhampyrs. They tend to serve the Kuei-jin as intermediaries or ambassadors, and in the past it was not unheard of for a mage to take a renegade or outcast dhampyr as a bodyguard or servant. They cannot become Mages.

The Hengeyokai, known as the Xiong Ren in China, have always had a guarded relationship with Mages. The Hengeyokai believe that the Chi'n Ta stole the names of Heaven, becoming Namebreakers who abuse that power. Some mages, they say, are worthwhile, though. The werewolves are known as Langren or Ookami Senshi ('wolf people' or 'wolf soldiers'), and they're rather diverse. The Japanese and Korean Hakken clans follow samurai tradition, and have been rather pragmatic about Mages - they're either useful or dangerous. Both can be respected; neither can be trusted. The Gonren is a derogatory name the Wu Lung use for werewolf bandits and peasant heroes, meaning "dog people." Such werewolves are typically found leading tongs or bandit gangs, but more and more have been getting into Hong Kong corporate culture. Generally, they ignore mages, except the Wu Lung, whom they enjoy annoying. The Xingguan are the Tibetan werewolves, who have been...not allies of the Akashics, but debate partners. Sadly, time has not been kind to the Xingguan, and the heart of their sect, the Shigalu Monastery, has been destroyed.

The Khan, also known as the Tora-no-Kodomo ('Children of the Tiger') and Huren ('Tiger People') are both honorable and vengeful. They're also dying. Mages have added to their kinfolk problem by killing tigers for alchemical parts and other foci. The Khan hate mages. Really, really hate mages.

The Kitsune, also called Fox-spirits or Nine-Tails, have long been an annoyance of Mages. They've interacted in all kinds of ways over history. The truth is, Mages frustrate the Kitsune. Their magic is the one kind of human magic that the foxes cannot steal, despite centuries of trying. Unlike other hengeyokai, the Kitsune have no set purpose, and some believe that mastering Awakened magic will finally make them the best at something, which they're kind of annoyed about. One small sect of their doshi (sorcerers), the Midori-Okaasama no Meibo Roshi ('the Namekeepers of the Emerald Mother') are kind of obsessed with this. They'll even kidnap and torture mages to learn their secrets.

The Nezumi are also called the Shubei ('ratlike scoundrels') or Shukuei ('rat demons'), the Horde and the Thuggee. Most Nezumi dislike Mages, but they can easily toss that dislike aside given their mercenary natures. If the price is right, a Nezumi will use their great assassin and terrorist skills for a Mage. There's no loyalty there - they follow the contract and nothing more. Only the most insane would think a Nezumi was an ally.

The Tengu are a double-edged sword. They're gossips and snoops, and will share their information for a price...but they have a dark sense of humor, and love to prank people who they dislike, often lethally. Legend has it they're swordmasters, and some swordsmen have sought them out to learn, though no mage has yet discovered if the rumors are true.

Sidebar: A small group of Tengu, the Gray Clouds Temple, have abducted young humans over the years to train as "goblin slayers." It's brutal, occasionally lethal training in swordsmanship, martial arts, the lore of the Asian supernaturals (except Hengeyokai weaknesses) and stealth, as well as magic if they have any skill at it. They then send the goblin hunters out to kill bakemono, Kuei-jin and Chi'n Ta who offend the ways of Heaven with vulgar magic. Exactly how the goblin slayers do it is their own business. Many, lacking a normal education, becoming drifting day laborers, while others join temples...but more than a few have become bandits or gang members.

The Zhong Lung are dragons, and dragons hold a place of honor. The Wu Lung especially tend to venerate them, and sometimes the Zhong Lung will share their knowledge with those who show proper respect. However, if not shown that respect, they become very angry. The Wu Lung may or may not have a line of Zhong Lung kinfolk among them, in fact. Or maybe they don't. Who can say?

No living mage has ever seen a Nagah.

The Kumo, called Goblin Spiders, are renowned for their cruelty, their cunning and their patience. No sane person would ever count one as an ally or seek one as an enemy. They are servants of the Yama Kings, and the wise mage does not underestimate their adaptability. They can show up anywhere. The Kumo don't care much about mages, though - they're just humans. Tools, dupes or food.

Next time: More others.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011


See, all that special snowflake crap about the kitsune I don't buy. It comes across as a really clever cover for the foxes to actually be weakly bound to their animal spirit. And, even if that is wrong, it's a great idea and is officially my stance on them. It gives what they've done more character.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012






Yeah, like I said at the end there. The concept is fine, and having a 'squishy wizard' splat isn't a problem for me. I don't think they're supposed to be weakly bound to their animal spirit, though (they've got a higher percentage of animal born than other splats) as much as Gaia was weaker when she created them so they don't have the advantages that others do. And I don't have a problem with them clawing and scraping their way up to their current position. The problem is that we're never told any of this. The entire Kitsune breedbook, even the character creation chapter, is either in character or maintains a tone of "Kitsune are Better Than You", and never stops toeing the party line.

To put it another way. I like the Kitsune, I hate this book.

In the Revised book, they're less full of themselves (outside of Shinju), get some mechanical benefits to cover for their frailties(to make them more playable with the more durable Khan and Garou), and they even got Leif Jones to produce a fairly okay piece of artwork. (A Piece, the other one has a lady in a kimono with her boobs falling out). Not having Moon-Saint and Sun-Devil make things a lot easier to read.

citybeatnik
Mar 1, 2013

You Are All
WEIRDOS





The WoD is full of groups that play up how powerful they actually are. The problem is that 1) WW never went on record going 'no really they're just bullshitting' in an official publication (the developer commentary on clanbook giovanni v what was published being an example) and 2) fanboyism.

Clanbook Ventrue is an example of that. They pointed out the problems that the clan has... which led to people assuming they were really weak when compared to the Tremere, Lasombra, etc.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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#1 Builder
2014-2018



Books in other liens don't keep it up, either. As you can see, Dragons of the East's view on Kitsune is basically that they are intensely frustrated and annoyed because they can't do something and have never been able to.

Wapole Languray
Jul 4, 2012





Antagonists

”Benjamin Baugh” posted:

When the Monster Under the Bed is your best friend, and the Thing That Goes Bump In the Night lives next door with your pal Jenny, what is there to scare you?

Some of these things can scare you. Some of them can kill you. Some... some just don't like you. They may be glorified monster chow, or you might never see them coming. And none of them are what they seem.

The Creepy Guy

quote:

You kids want beer? I can get you totally awesome weed. You can come to my place, and we can hang out. I got a van, I’ll give you a lift.


He drives a beat up old van, one made back when they didn't have windows in the sides. His clothes are always wrinkled and stained. He's got nicotine stains on his fingers, greasy hair that he never combs, dresses like a hobo Kurt Cobain, and smells like he rubs old blunts on his body as deodorant.

The Creepy Guy is generally found way too close to the schools, but they never do much worse than chase him off, cause he hasn't hurt anybody yet, and he's not old enough to be The Psychotic Guy yet. Generally he likes to try and get in good with kids using his connections and age to get them booze, drugs, porn, whatever they want, as long as they hang out with him. If you're creepy guy's friend, you've got an almost guaranteed supply of illicit materials, and a convenient hideout away from parents and other authority where you can do whatever you want. Cause Creepy Guy really does just want to be friends! He's a real kid at heart, a 12 year old in a 20-something college dropouts body.

But don't think he's harmless. The Creepy Guy has issues. He'll jump at being your friend, sure. But he'll never let you go. He's clingy, paranoid, jealous, has serious anger issues, and is otherwise completely insane. One wrong word and you're an Amber Alert and there's a manhunt for a white van and a dude in a stained flannel shirt.

Worse part is, you can't fight this guy, not as a Kid anyway. Dude's got a few years of hard living on him, and he could kick most newbie-kids asses seven ways from Sunday. Mind, he'd dumb as a rock. Inhaling pot, cigs, booze, and god-knows what else every day since high-school has left his brain a toasty charcoal briquette, so you could outsmart him. Though trying might just make him angry.

“Oh, but my Monster will just eat him!” you say? Sure, you could do that. 'Cept for Bugnutz.

Bugnutz

quote:

Are you going to eat that? BUUUUUUUUUURP!

See, Creepy Guy is what happens when a Kid gets too attached to their Monster buddy, and forgets about the whole “being human” thing. He went too far into the weird, and now he's stuck there. But he still has his Monster. And boy is it a big one. See, Bugnutz is well... a bug. A big one. Big as in the size of a goddamn garbage truck. He's not that smart and way too friendly, like creepy guy. But he isn't crazy, at least no more than most monsters, and he'll do anything to see Creepy Guy happy. Anything.

And there's no way in hell a monster can fight him, not on its own. Dude has 6 Hit Locations, and not one of them has less than 6 dice and that is scary. Just those numbers give you an idea of what you can do to build your own Bugnutz, if you want a different monster for a Creepy Guy. Because besides that, he's got ludicrous extras in everything. Bugnutz, or a variant thereof, is scary as hell and can chew up a newbie Monster like old soggy newspaper.



Excruciator

quote:

Students, close your books for a pop quiz. Th is will count for 30% of your grade, and those failing must stay aft er class.

You ever had a teacher that was just a total bitch? Like, pure evil. She'd give impossible homework, then eat you out for not doing it. She'd embarrass you in front of the whole class for no good reason, or send you to detention for doing anything. Random quizzes with extra homework for failing, but you never learned the material, 1000 page book reports due tomorrow, and just constant non-stop passive aggressive sniping that made you want to strangle her. And nobody believed you, right? I mean, you're just a kid! Your teacher isn't evil with a capital E, you're just a lazy unappreciative brat who needs extra lessons to get your grades up! And those are always with the Bitch. And that's when she's nice. When she's not insulting you, pinching you, calling you names, and just beating at you emotionally and physically. Every second in her presence is torture, cause she knows exactly what to say to get under your skin. Ever wonder why there are people like this? Who just live to commit cruelty, after petty cruelty, that seem to relish crushing dreams and turning children into paranoid neurotic wrecks? It's because they aren't people at all.

They're Excruciators. Excruciators are... things. Things from Beyond. They naturally are attracted towards those who are closest to the Otherworld, the Weird. Psychics, lunatics, mages, and yes, kids with monsters. They feed on these beings, looking into the holes in your psyche and sucking out that sweet life energy inside. They do this by causing pain and suffering. Anguish is their appetizer, and your crushing depression the main course. They do this by replacing figures of authority. They find them, hollow them out, and wear them like a suit. One that's made out of meat. And is still alive. This hides them from both normal, and extra-normal detection. This is important, cause nobody would get near an Excruciator in its natural form. Excruciators look like someone spot-welded the Cephalod section of an aquarium together and then pumped it full of anabolic steriods. It's just tentacles and tentacles and mouths and eyes and more tentacles. In a skin-suit they're social-monsters, capable of making even a grown man cry like a little girl. Outside of it they have some scary combat stats in monster-mode, complete with acid-drooling mouths, some crazy nasty attacks, and the ability to fit through almost any opening.

Mad Science Teacher

quote:

Day 17, 23:00. Subject remains alert despite repeated amputations of dorsal pseudopodia and fin-like structures. Level of aggression remains unchecked, and administration of high doses of tranquilizer only serve to anger subject. On last amputation, subject said, ‘When I get outta here, Doc, I’m gonna eat your expletive deleted face off. Recommended course of action: Continue schedule of amputations, and add microwave bombardment to the stress-panel to measure cortical hormone response.


Man, that new science teacher is kinda a weirdo, right? I mean, sure he knows science, but why does he always have to shout the word at the top of his lungs? Like, is it some kinda tourettes or something? Plus, I doubt we're supposed to be learning “Molecular Recombination” in the 8th grade. I saw him just standing in an empty classroom when it was storming, right? And he was just laughing! At, like, nothing! When he saw me he said something about the Colbert Report, but he said the name wrong, with the Ts, so I don't think he even watches it...

The Mad Science Teacher is a Scientist. He's also a Teacher! Oh, and completely Mad. Like, really crazy. As in Josef Mengele would be all “Dude, chill out on the highly unethical experiments.” Y'know how he got the job because Mr. McCullen got in that car wreck? That wasn't a car he hit, and now Mr. McCullen's disembodied brain is running an atomic toaster. The Mad Science Teacher's Pocket Protector is made of solid titanium, because his pens are actually high powered lasers. His shoes are very very uncomfortable, because rocket boosters have no arch support. Barrel of fun, yes? Sure! Except he wants to capture your Monsters and take them apart to see how they tick. And he's got enough SCIENCE to do it! And if SCIENCE can't, then Brotron can!

Brotron the Robot

quote:

Beep! Beep! Danger, Master! Danger! Brotron Activating Defensive Systems!

He's big! He's metal! He's sarcastic! It's Brotron! A combination bodyguard/lab assisstant/ nurse/ surgical tool, Brotron is the Mad Science Teacher's faithful robotic minion. Not much to say about him honestly! He's a big clanky robot with pincer arms and a stun beam, so he can be kinda nasty. But he's a big stompy robot, so you'll see him coming.



M.I.B.

quote:

If you will please step away from the B.E.M., Agent Grey and Agent Blue have some questions for you.

They wear nearly identical cheap black suits. They drive either old model black sedans or white utility vans with a few dozen too many antennae. They talk in a dull, constant monotone. They wear mirrored shades, even at night. They go by names like Taupe, Khaki, Beige, and Wenge, like if Reservoir Dogs couldn't afford the fun colors. Everything points to them being a joke. Until somebody dissapears, and nobody but you seems to remember them. And you start seeing more eerily identical men all the time, everywhere, following you, and then... nobody remembers you anymore either.

The Monster Investigation Bureau is the most recent incarnation of the U.S.'s paranormal and occult investigation branch. Back in the 50's they tracked UFO's and locked Aliens in freezers. In the 60's and 70's they ran MKULTRA's big brother to fight a secret psychic war with the Soviets. In the 80's it was all about subliminal mind control via pop-culture. Then they hit a big downslide in the 90's. The whole X-Files thing, combined with a general interest in government conspiracy made hiding a hell of a lot harder, and the general lack of supernatural goings on led to the MIB's budgets getting slashed and the agents going private, hunting the supernatural for profit.

With the new rise of the weird in the 21st Century, the MIB's are back in force, but this time working for both sides of the Military-Industrial Complex. They hunt Biological Extraterrestrial Merchandise (Monsters) for their corporate overlords, and to help America have that extra edge in the next Cold War, which will be soon if they have anything to say about it.

MIB's are scary. Now, you've got a lot of leeway dealing with these guys at first. They are nothing if not... unoriginal, and most will run rather than go off-script or contravene an order. So, as long as you're still in the “Observe and Avoid” section, you don't have to worry about them much, and may be able to get away with mild poking about. The problems come when Home Office decides to give them a go ahead, or you poke a bit too far in and they turn hostile. Then you're in trouble.

See, this is where I'm going to reveal a secret of the MaOTC combat system. You might think that Monsters are the be-all end-all of combat, yes? I mean, a Monster can tear anything that isn't another Monster to shreds, yes? Yes. But they pay big-time for that. See, what Monster got in power, they lose in flexibility.

If a Monster attempts an action that requires a roll, ie. Is under duress, and does not have a relevant quality, they automatically fail that roll. What this means is, that if your monster wants to use a computer, and he doesn't have a part that gives him an ability that lets him do that, like super-smarts or a robot brain, he can't. Automatic failure. Monsters can do a handful of things really really really well, but have no flexibility at all. People, on the other hand, can do anything. As long as they have 2 dice in a Stat+Skill roll, they can at least try. So, your Monster does the fighting/a handful of useful things, while your Kid does... well everything else ever, but kinds sucks at fighting, like all other People. So, got it? Monster= Strong, People= Flexible, yes? Good!

Now that I told you that, I can tell you this. MIB's don't give a flying poo poo about that. They break that rule in two and laugh at it. They have stats like a person, a scary as hell person, because they get 6 dice in everything. Everything Every stat and skill has 3 dice. That's all the default skills, plus special ones like Spot Weirdness and Preternatural Cool. They take damage like Monsters, not people, so they aren't getting one-shotted like most. They do damage like Monsters too, and they have some nasty weapons. Reverse engineered from the leftovers of some failed Alien invasions, artefacts recovered from lost tombs and sunken cities, and good old American Mad Science arm the MIB. Not to mention the fact that these guys come in teams, so fighting one is an oddity. Have fun!

A Wizard (Wannabe)

quote:

By the Ancient Signs and the Words Writ Upon the Scrolls of the Ebon Binding, I Abjure Thee, Beast! I Bind Thee.... Hang on... I Bind... I... Wait, let me start again. Don’t go!

Some adults are... in-tune with Monsters. They can detect them, even see them when they're hiding. Now, normally this just means that they're a fruitcake. Or really really high. But, sometimes, they manage to not have their brains melt at the revelation that their world is full of terror-beasts from beyond the Fourth Veil. This can be good or bad. See, those sort of adults generally don't leave well enough alone, and start poking into the Weird. Most just get some education, but a rare few get their hands on some genuine quantified Power. Atlantean scrolls, Aleister Crowley's Spellbook, the Necronomicon, you get the idea. Now, if they are a well balanced, decent, nice fellow, they can be a giant help for a Kid, acting as a sort of mentor and aid. Mind, if you're the sort of person who is reading the Ancient Scrolls of Krz'Kutlanga and don't immediately burn them as a blasphemy against all creation, then you're probably a power-hungry lunatic.

These guys are trouble. Big ones. They're Adults who know, really know, what's going on, kinda, and they have the real paranormal power to mess with the spooky side. They take damage like a Kid with a Monster, have Magic skills that hurt Monsters like other Monsters, and are generally really a big problem. Without magic they're a pretty fragile egg-head though, so if you can cut off their mojo, they're in big trouble. Unless they got their own Monster.

See, Wizards are a big threat to a Kid, because they want what the Kid has. A Monster. Well, they think that they are demonic servitors, Djinn, nature spirits, faeries, etc. But the point's the same, they want their own extra-dimensional horror as their BFF. And they can do it. By using the ancient Rite of Severing and Adoption, they can steal a kids Monster. The Monster won't like it one bit, but doesn't have much of a choice.

How do you get your Monster back? Well, you could kill the Wizard, but now he has a Monster, so... kinda hard. But you can Shock him. See, when a Wizard takes a Monster, they convert their existing Relationship die into the Monster's Relationship. This means that they treat their Monster like anything else that they have a Relationship with. So, it can be Shocked. Shock their relationship down to Crisis, and they lose control of the Monster. Then they're Wizard-Chow.

Next Time: Everyone Else

Amechra
Sep 9, 2012


And now I'm going to have a few small nightmares.

Green Intern
Dec 29, 2008

Loon, Crazy and Laughable



Sounds like MaoCT would be perfect for a Monster Pulse-themed game.

dwarf74
Sep 2, 2012






Buglord



POWERS & PERILS 4.2 Culture Book C: A Lot of Countries Start with "C".

4.2.1 Caldo


Caldo's pretty drat tiny, but it's more thoroughly detailed than most Empires. Anyway, they're a tiny Mary Sue nation that hates trolls and is allied with some barbarians. For a while, Donara tried to conquer them, but the "Dagger Legion" kicked the Donarans' asses and stole some of their land.

They have two clans from their barbarian past, Clan Bara and Clan Caldo (which notably rules from a castle built by giants ). They have a huge military for the size of the country, with compulsory military service. And somewhere in that tiny country, they have huge herds of livestock and make awesome armor. Huh. They are kind and generous, though also compulsive gamblers.

Anyway, it then jumps into way more detail than is necessary about the royal lineage. The male leader of Clan Caldo (the Dagger of Caldo) marries the female leader of Clan Bara (The Jewel of Caldo). The Dagger controls the military except for the Jewel Guard, and the Jewel controls domestic affairs. They rule until the heirs both turn at least 18, at which point they step down and pass off their incredibly powerful artifacts.

Justice is kinda crazy and lovely. An accused is held prisoner for 10 days (which is hilariously called a 'fortnight') without being told what their charges are. For 10 days, people put in testimony. Testimony is examined by 3 judges; the first time the accused knows what they're accused of is when the sentence is read, so holy poo poo. Oh, and the accused can appeal with trial by combat or trial by fire, so there's that.

Um, wow, there's a lot about Caldo. No Caldan kids are illegitimate because marriage is for alliances and not for bearing kids. Male kids are always members of their father's clan, and female kids are members of their mother's.

Oh, and those artifacts are helpfully detailed here. The Dagger, in addition to +20 Strength and +2 PMR (I forget what this means) can give the wielder the memories of all the ancestral spirits. The Jewel doubles the bearer's Casting Ability and can ask the ancestors for information.

Anyway ... it's weird to have this tiny Mary Sue of a nation taking up almost two pages. Was there a planned novel? Was it just the author's favorite? No idea.

4.2.2 The Empire of Ced


This is a tiny, lovely remnant of a former great empire. It was incredibly mismanaged for centuries, with rulers either focusing on the fleet or the army and ignoring the other. They've basically been the region's punching bag for about five centuries, which is fine because they seem like huge assholes.

They grow flax and blow glass, so that's industry for you. And they tend to be "harsh, boorish, and arrogant" which seems kinda silly for a crappy remnant empire. But somehow they're also honorable and honest, so there's that? It's ruled by a Triumvirate, so I'm thinking it's sort of a Rome-after-the-fall deal.

4.2.3 The Cerulean Empire


It's India and doesn't pretend to be otherwise. After a befuddling series of conquerings and rulers, one of their leaders was called Dhaji the Supple, which makes me giggle for some reason. Unlike the Empire of Ced where the crappy rulers drove their Empire into the ground...

quote:

[Emperor] Aym’briz was a weakling who lived in constant terror of his father. He was in the Valley of Shame during the final battle against Bhamotin. At a crucial point in this battle he was terrified by the approach of a horribly-wounded, gore-splattered knight bearing a flaming sword. He fled, contributing that his father had come from hell to slay him. The Marshal killed him on the spot and left him for the vultures.

After killing Aym’briz, Marshal Ho’aza Dalya seized the throne as Regent for the Patani heirs. With the support of the army, he dedicated his reign to training the Patani heirs. With the support of the army, he dedicated his reign to training the Patani heirs and reorganizing the Empire. His reign (850 - 873) forced discipline on the Empire and led to the Satrap system as it is today. Since his death, the Cerulean Empire has remained a disciplined, stable and prosperous land.

...they've managed their own affairs. It's huge, impossibly wealthy, and aggressively expansionist. But they're superstitious and scared of ghosts and the supernatural. In a game where you can be Wizards, this seems a bit odd - like being an atheist in the Forgotten Realms - but there you have it. Do magic tricks and they run away. Oh, and yeah, there's a caste system of sorts but it's not really dwelt upon here, probably for the best.

Anyway, since it's big, it's divided into Satrapys ruled by Satraps (hereditary local government) and Viceroys (chosen by the Empire for 4-8 year terms). On top of that, the Empire has a huge and scary secret police/spy/assassin ring.

But that's basically it. They're a huge, rich, powerful empire that most neighboring nations fear.

4.2.3 Chiros


A tiny, lovely little nation that's screwed hard in most every way. It's a semi-independent Duchy of Donara, once part of the Empire of Ced. It's broke.

There's a duke in Donara, Duke Salin of Pelara, that essentially rules the land. He controls most of the nation's wealth, including 70% of their mines. The Duke of Chiros owes him 40,000 Gold, or six times the nation's GDP. As a result, Duke Salin of Pelara controls the military, the justice system, and basically everything else; one of his enemies was executed for spitting on a public street.

Chiros's people are "treacherous, hedonistic liars" who are only productive when basically coerced into it. Sounds ... pretty racist? I dunno, they worship Dionysus, so maybe that's their deal. They love to gamble (obviously) and consider failure to pay a debt about the worst of all crimes. Hence, their screwage.

4.2.3 Choshai


...and now we head East. Way East. This is like Kamchatka of the Perilous Lands. It's a harsh land, rich in furs and timber, but not much else. As a result, the people are pretty laid back about everything but survival. They willingly sacrifice for the good of the nation and help each other out ... because if they didn't they'd all die in a weird Powers & Perils 10-day "fortnight." They can be unforgiving, as you'd expect. For most everything else, the book almost literally says, "See Katai" so we'll get to it I guess.

4.2.4 Chunrey


This one's around Thailand or thereabouts. It's a feudal nation where the nobles are strong ("cunning, affluent hedonists") and the emperor is weak. And the commoners basically keep their heads down and try not to get noticed by the nobles, since they're basically property. They're independent of the larger, stronger Katai, but they pay Katai 10,000 gold a year to stay that way (after a rather disastrous invasion attempt).

They likewise pay the Fomorian Empire (we'll get to them... boy howdy...) 5,000 gold per year after they invaded a Fomorian land - the Kingdom of the East - also pretty disastrously. So they're paying for a lot of big mistakes, and only still exist because they play their two tributary allies against one another masterfully.

Oh, and the nobles use most of their fleets for piracy, which is considered only rational. I mean, what else do you do with huge fleets when you're paying off your only enemies?

4.2.5 Clima


Clima is another terrible island nation worshipping the gods of Chaos, along with A'Korchu. It was once a freeport, but about 900 years ago, fanatics of the Dark Temples killed all the nobles and like a quarter of the populace. Thirteen priestesses have ruled more or less ever since, called "Immortal Ghova" one and all. The current Immortal Ghova has started expanding again with her 160 scary warships, and it basically rules the entire totally-not-Mediterranean Sea by now. They're pretty much pirates, as you'd expect, and that's where they get most of their wealth - that, and the various lands they've conquered.

As you'd expect from Chaos-worshipping pirates ... well, I'll quote directly again...

quote:

The main gods of Clima are Sammael, Tiamat and Aeshma Daeva. Group ritual plays an important part in the Climan faith. On feast days entire cities join in the revels and human sacrifice is practiced with enthusiasm. The Climan faith is exuberant, perverse and evil. It is practiced by the vast majority of the populace.

...so yep, more human sacrifice in a perverse, exuberant faith. It's notable that the one matriarchal society we've seen is deranged and wicked. If I remember right, this is not the only time we'll see this.

4.2.6 The Confederation of Shanda


At one time, this was a group of barbarian tribes who warred against one another. However, although it's not on this map, Fomoria is like right off the coast, so they banded together to drive off the Empire. The allies have only recently formed something of a nation, drawn together by a Great Shaman in 316SH (or 955SA in the "normal" dates because gently caress you, that's why). The book further notes he's 72 years old, so he's also a time traveler because 955 was 145 years ago.


The Great Shaman

Oh, and the Confederation will basically dissolve once he dies, presumably unless he regenerates into a new body.

The five tribes (the Shanda, the Perda, the A'Chalani, the Gholani, and the Sherlani) also each have their own totem animals. (PRO TIP: If you have a bunch of howling wolf t-shirts, the Gholani are your tribe.) There's a Council of Chiefs - two from each tribe - and a Duke from their one big city, who all vote on stuff. Prisoners are considered innocent until proven guilty, which is a nice change from most of this other bullshit. Anyway, they're apparently trying extra-hard to be civilized because at heart, they're one step removed from barbarism.

...and that's it for "C". Is this at all interesting to anyone but me? I'd love to get back to some hosed-up rules, but I haven't found a comprehensive overview of Perilous Lands anywhere and kind of want to stick with it.

Basil Hayden
Oct 9, 2012

1921!


dwarf74 posted:


...and that's it for "C". Is this at all interesting to anyone but me? I'd love to get back to some hosed-up rules, but I haven't found a comprehensive overview of Perilous Lands anywhere and kind of want to stick with it.

Personally, I'm enjoying reading the write-ups of the countries, at least.

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HitTheTargets
Mar 3, 2006

I came here to laugh at you.


I say stick with it. It's like a hex-crawly, everything exists to be fought by adventurers version of 7th Sea.

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