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Quinn2win
Nov 9, 2011

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




Great Ork Gods, Part 2: Lifting Stone, Pounding Rock

There are seven Great Ork Gods that govern the lives of the Ork races!

Slashings and Slayings: God of War. You'd think he'd be the one who actually likes his people, but no, Slashings and Slayings hates Orks just as much as any other God. Call upon him when attacking or defending with a weapon. If you want to use a ranged weapon, that's Slashings and Slayings too, but remember that He especially hates a coward.

That Which Guards The Gate: God of Death. Possibly the most important of all Gods. If anything happens that might end in your grisly demise, pray to That Which Guards The Gate and hope that it looks favorably upon thee.


Otherwise, this happens.

Lying Tongue, Twisting Words: God of the Gab. On the rare occasion that an Ork tries to talk their way out of something, they appeal to the un-ork-like Lying Tongue, Twisting Words to get it done.

Sneakings and Peekings: God of Stealth. If you want to get through any situation by not being seen, pray to this God, and hope that you get lucky.

The Obscurer of Things: God of Artefacts. If you want to use anything more complicated than a doorknob, most Orks are a lost cause. For a locked door, a crossbow, or a pulley, you're really pushing your luck, and ought to look to The Obscurer of Things for guidance.

Flailing of Limbs: Goddess of Movement. Any time you want to balance, move fast, or jump a long distance, make sure you're in good graces with Flailing of Limbs.

Lifting Stone, Pounding Rock: God of Strength. The second most valued God among Orks, next to Slashings and Slayings. If you want to rely on your mighty strength to solve any problem, then appeal to Lifting Stone, Pounding Rock.

All right, we've got us a stat block. Stat attribution is either random, or extremely random. For normal random, roll 18+1d6, and distribute that many points of Hate between the seven Gods, each value being somewhere between 2 and 5. For extremely random, roll three d10s for each God - your Hate value for that God is two, plus one for each die that came up three or less. Roll in order, oldest school style.

Going random just now, I get this:

code:
Groork Hammersmash
Slashings and Slayings: 3
That Which Guards The Gate: 3
Lying Tongue, Twisting Words: 3
Sneakings and Peekings: 3
The Obscurer of Things: 4
Flailing of Limbs: 4
Lifting Stone, Pounding Rock: 3
Not a very exciting statline! Groork is going to have trouble with using anything more complex than a spear or trying to not fall on his face, because the Gods responsible for those tasks hate him even more than usual. High numbers are bad.

If you spend more than 10 minutes creating your Ork, then roll 1d6 and distribute that much additional Hate for being indecisive. If you come up with a particularly non-Orkish name (say, Sunflower), then roll 1d6 and distribute that much extra Hate as well.

Finally, set your Oog at 1. Oog is how much of a big name you are in the Orking community - it's glory and infamy and stupidity and score. It doesn't actually DO very much, but you should play as if its the most important thing in the universe. Such is the way of the Ork.

But wait! We're not done yet. We've created our Orks, but there are still the God to distribute, as the PCs will be playing them as well.

The game comes with a PDF with seven God Cards that you can print out, which look like this:



Print out the cards, shuffle them, and lay them out in a line, face down on the table. Players roll off for picking order, and then you turn over a number of cards, starting from the left, equal to the number of players. In order, each player picks one of the face-up god cards to be their own. When they do, they add one Spite token to each God card to the left of the one they picked. If the God card they picked had any Spite tokens on it, they get to keep those. Then, they turn the next face-down card over and the next player repeats the process until all seven Gods have been assigned.

With all that in place, it's time to actually do things! Let's say, for an example, that Groork has been hit about the head with an enormous rock, and we want to know if he's going to die or not. Grook's player will now appeal to the player who has That Which Guards The Gate, to see how hard it is for him to survive. That Which Guards The Gate can come to one of three decisions: Easy (one die), Medium (two dice), or Hard (3 dice). If the same player controls Groork and That Which Guards the Gate, the task is automatically set to Easy.

This would be a complete rule set if the Ork Gods weren't vindictive petty assholes. As it is, there's still Spite to consider! After the difficulty of the task has been determined, any player may spend Spite 1-for-1 to add extra dice to the challenge. So, if That Which Guards The Gate rules that this is a Medium trial, the player with Flailing of Limbs feels like it, they could spend 3 Spite to raise it to a 5-dice challenge. The only ways to gain Spite are to start with it, or for an Ork to succeed at something. If an Ork succeeds at a roll, the player controlling the God that that roll was made against gains one Spite. If a player attempts to protest the difficulty level he is given, then he can get his way, but the God that he protested against gains 2 Spite for each level that the difficulty is lowered. If an Ork succeeds a roll made against a God controlled by the same player as that Ork, then every OTHER player gets one point of Spite.

Roll the number of ten-sided dice determined through this process. If any of the dice come up less than or equal to your Hate from the relevant God, you fail. Grook, in our example, rolls 5d10, and gets 2, 7, 2, 5, 6 - both 2's are lower than his Hate of 3, so he fails, dying instantly. Time to roll up a new Ork.

Next time: Moral issues!

Quinn2win fucked around with this message at 16:20 on May 6, 2013

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Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Ars Magica 5th Edition: The Core


Mentem ('Mind') is the magic of mind, thought and spirit. It's what you use when you want to affect the 'bodies' of the incorporeal, such as ghosts, because those are maintained purely by the spirit's will. Mentem helps resist persuasion, deception and temptation.

Creo Mentem can heal and improve minds, but it can also create thoughts, emotions or memories in the minds of others. Such creations interact normally with the target's mind and can end up changed in the process, of course.
Intellego Mentem can sense the state of a mind, sense emotions, translate speech, divine whether a statement is true or read thoughts and memories. It cannot translate written text, just take the meaning from the mind of someone who does understand it.
Muto Mentem can change memories, force animal emotions and instincts onto humans, or even make a mind or spirit solid, though that is very hard and requires appropriate requisites. It may also grant others the supernatural senses that Intellego spells sometimes grant.
Perdo Mentem can destroy memories or emotions (though since emotions return, you want to make the spell last for a while in that casE), diminish mental capacities, cause insanity or even, at the high levels, simply shut down someone's mind entirely.
Rego Mentem can ward against ghosts and spirits, control and alter mental or emotional states, control a person's actions or summon ghosts.


Terram ('Earth') is the magic of earth, stone and solid objects. It protects against damage from stone or metal weapons as well as mineral poisons. Earth is easiest to do magic on, followed by, in order, clay, stone, glass, metal and gemstones.

Creo Terram can create earthen materials, with difficulty going up based on the material, though elaborate shapes or unnatural properties are harder. Creating gold is a fairly easy spell.
Intellego Terram doesn't care about materials. It gives information on the properties of objects, where they are, what they're made of and so on, and at high levels allows you to talk to natural or artificial rock. (Natural rock: a rock. Artificial rock: a statue.)
Muto Terram gets harder the higher up the chain a material is. It changes properties of earthen materials, converts them into each other or other materials and causes objects to grow or shrink.
Perdo Terram destroys earthen materials. It's very simple.
Rego Terram wards against creatures of stone, controls and moves earthen materials or wards against earthen materials. It's also where you go for generalized telekinesis of objects.


Vim ('Power') is the magic of raw magical power, refining and controlling magic. It's metamagic, really. And the magic you use on powerful critters of the magical, faerie, divine or infernal realms. It helps to resist Twilight or damage caused by your own spellcasting (but not your own spells).

Creo Vim is able to create false shells that fool Intellego spells, block them or blur out their readings, taint things with magic or cause Warping.
Intellego Vim detects spells, vis and auras, discerns the nature of vis or active magic and can trace powerful or recent magic.
Muto Vim alter the parameters of spells. It's not easy to do, and it only works on spells while they're being cast, not while they're already active. And it's very hard to do offensively. And it can't be done on spontaneous magic, just formulaic or ritual magic.
Perdo Vim hides magic from being detected, dispels magic, weakens magical beings or spellcasters and weakens arcane connections. It ain't easy, though.
Rego Vim wards against demons, angels, faeries or magical beings, sustains or suppresses spells for a while, creates conduits to shoot spells through without arcane connections, contains spells for later and moves vis between containers. Also, Aegis of the Hearth.

Next time: Cool poo poo in Mythic Europe.

Wapole Languray
Jul 4, 2012



My Monsters write-up is going on hiatus for a bit due to technical issues leaving me without easy access to a PC. So I'm going to take this opportunity to ask my readers what they think about Monsters so far. We're done with the mechanical stuff in the core, and just have the adventure seeds and sample game to do. So I'd like to hear what people think so far.

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


I love it, and one of my friends is running a game that includes Little Fears and MAOCT, so hopefully I'll get to play it soon. I'm not sure about the tone, since it seems more creepy than light-hearted, but what other game lets you play LILO & Stich or Calvin & Hobbes?

pospysyl
Nov 10, 2012

SO EMBARRASSING



Tribebook: Bone Gnawers


No joke, this exactly what a hobo werewolf would look like. Impressive.

Like last time, we’re going to look at the Revised Core entry for the Bone Gnawers and see what the writers are building on. Also like last time, the Bone Gnawers an atypical tribe in that their membership is more politically oriented than their place of birth. The Bone Gnawers are the poor werewolf tribe. This is probably a necessary archetype for Werewolf, since who doesn’t want to play a wisecracking, streetwise werewolf? Like Billy Joel from Oliver & Company, but angrier. The book even tells you that every Bone Gnawer is cynical, world weary, but totally hilarious! Archetypal as that is, it’s still evocative.

As briefly discussed in the Black Fury book, to be initiated into a tribe you have to be approved of by the totem spirit of that tribe. For the Black Furies, you had to impress Pegasus, and Pegasus automatically refused any non-metis males. The totem spirit watches out for its tribe kin, and if they change they’re more readily allowed into the tribe. They still have to do the Rite of Passage, but it’s less onerous. A werewolf can renounce his or her tribe and join another, but they have to work harder to impress the other tribe’s totem. For that reason, the Bone Gnawers are disdained, as the werewolves believe that they’re incapable of joining a “real” tribe.

That suits the Gnawers just fine, as they’re the most populous of the tribe. Anybody the other tribes don’t accept, they will. They’re originally from North Africa and India, but nowadays they can be found in any urban jungle. They’ve always lived among the poor and disenfranchised, and they claim to have teamed up with or been folk heroes. Their devotion to the common man leads them to espouse democratic values in their septs.

The Bone Gnawers also have weird totems and rites. They work with City Fathers, trash spirits, and other incarnations of the contemporary world. Their rites incorporate a milieu of pop cultural references. For instance, they’ll spread peanut butter to invoke the spirit of Elvis, or chant Frank Sinatra tunes to summon the spirit of New York. This only tarnishes their reputation even further, but the Gnawers will accept any ritual technique one of their members comes up with.

Living in the city, the Gnawers develop a few cultural quirks. Generosity is a big deal among the Bone Gnawers. Their elders, known as Fathers or Mothers, take in large swaths of unprivileged people to care for them, even if they’re not Kin or Garou. The Gnawer combat style is built around guerilla warfare and sneak attacks. They’ll work with anybody, even unsavory supernatural types. A developed system and lexicon for scavenging trash is popular among the Gnawers, delineating Stuff, Loot, and Things. (I’m not sure why this is included in the core, but it’s a fun idea from the Tribebook)

They have many camps, including some that live in rural areas. The Hillfolk are werewolf hillbillies and the Maneaters are werewolf cannibal hillbillies. In my estimation, the only thing better than a streetwise werewolf is a redneck werewolf.


Not sold on this lady, though.

Appearance: They look pretty scruffy and mangy. Their wolf forms are covered in patches of different colors. They’re scrawny, but they can’t be mistaken for stray dogs.

Kinfolk: Unlike most tribes, their kin isn’t from a particular race or background, but they do tend to be poor.

Territory: The Bone Gnawers make their homes in the city, but in the poorest areas. This isn’t to say that they’re solely from the ghetto. They protect major public services in the city, including libraries, museums, parks and playgrounds.

quote:


Hey, you! Stop pissin’ on my drat box! What do you think this is, a men’s room? This here’s my home, and if you don’t zip it and run right now. I’m gonna have to bite that thing off. You hear me? I BITE!

The Bone Gnawers can’t have Ancestors, Resources, or Pure Breed backgrounds, but they get an extra willpower in return.

The Stereotypes are related to us by Piss-in-the-Wind. Bone Gnawers have great deed names, by the way. They like the Black Furies because feminism. They drink with the Fianna. They’re bullied by the Get of Fenris. They don’t trust the Red Talons because they want to kill everyone. They’ll feed the Shadow Lords info. The most interesting relationship they have is with the Silent Striders. Interpersonally they’re fine, but Owl has it out for Rat, so their tribes are constantly at odds.

Next time: The Long Dark Fast Food Breakfast of the Soul

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


Was Greg Stolze involved in the Bone Gnawers?

Hedningen
May 4, 2013

Enough sideburns to last a lifetime.


This is just making my day.

I guess in terms of contribution, I notice that the project to explain Mutant: Undergångens Arvtagare died an unseemly death and no one seems to have spoken of the wonderful classic Drakar och Demoner; I figure those are some gems that need to be brought up. Any overarching interest in one or the other? I figure DoD might be a little faster, because let's face it, I'm not going through as much, but for some reason, people seem to think Mutant:UA (or even classic Mutant) is the Bee's Knees.

Then again, the option for installing Eye-Lasers on your post-apocalyptic robo-butler while hanging out with your mutated badger friends in what once was the Archipelago seems to really tickle people. I need to work on my speed-translation anyway, so I'm willing to tackle whichever one people are more interested in, because there are some seriously entertaining write-ups, and I feel the need to contribute what people might enjoy.

citybeatnik
Mar 1, 2013

You Are All
WEIRDOS





pospysyl posted:

The Bone Gnawers also have weird totems and rites. They work with City Fathers, trash spirits, and other incarnations of the contemporary world. Their rites incorporate a milieu of pop cultural references. For instance, they’ll spread peanut butter to invoke the spirit of Elvis, or chant Frank Sinatra tunes to summon the spirit of New York. This only tarnishes their reputation even further, but the Gnawers will accept any ritual technique one of their members comes up with.


I look forward to the treatment you're going to give this book. Bonegnawers, with all of their "wackiness", are my favorite tribe thematically, mechanically, and just generally. Their approach to the animism that fuels the werewolf spiritual side is just so drat -cool-.

drat shame most people tend to play them off as either the butt of a joke or just ignored.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011


Hedningen posted:

This is just making my day.

I guess in terms of contribution, I notice that the project to explain Mutant: Undergångens Arvtagare died an unseemly death and no one seems to have spoken of the wonderful classic Drakar och Demoner; I figure those are some gems that need to be brought up. Any overarching interest in one or the other? I figure DoD might be a little faster, because let's face it, I'm not going through as much, but for some reason, people seem to think Mutant:UA (or even classic Mutant) is the Bee's Knees.

Then again, the option for installing Eye-Lasers on your post-apocalyptic robo-butler while hanging out with your mutated badger friends in what once was the Archipelago seems to really tickle people. I need to work on my speed-translation anyway, so I'm willing to tackle whichever one people are more interested in, because there are some seriously entertaining write-ups, and I feel the need to contribute what people might enjoy.

I'm game for seeing the Mutant RPG given it is supposed to be the precursor of Mutant Chronicles, and that setting has a special place in my heart.

InfiniteJesters
Jan 26, 2012


citybeatnik posted:



I look forward to the treatment you're going to give this book. Bonegnawers, with all of their "wackiness", are my favorite tribe thematically, mechanically, and just generally. Their approach to the animism that fuels the werewolf spiritual side is just so drat -cool-.

drat shame most people tend to play them off as either the butt of a joke or just ignored.

Basically they're the Werewolf answer to the Malkavians, except with actual certified feral badassery thrown in to boot?

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

Hedningen posted:

This is just making my day.

I guess in terms of contribution, I notice that the project to explain Mutant: Undergångens Arvtagare died an unseemly death and no one seems to have spoken of the wonderful classic Drakar och Demoner; I figure those are some gems that need to be brought up. Any overarching interest in one or the other? I figure DoD might be a little faster, because let's face it, I'm not going through as much, but for some reason, people seem to think Mutant:UA (or even classic Mutant) is the Bee's Knees.

Then again, the option for installing Eye-Lasers on your post-apocalyptic robo-butler while hanging out with your mutated badger friends in what once was the Archipelago seems to really tickle people. I need to work on my speed-translation anyway, so I'm willing to tackle whichever one people are more interested in, because there are some seriously entertaining write-ups, and I feel the need to contribute what people might enjoy.

I am a huge Mutant Chronicles fan, so Mutant is my choice.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012


InfiniteJesters posted:

Basically they're the Werewolf answer to the Malkavians, except with actual certified feral badassery thrown in to boot?

Bone Gnawers are more the werewolf answer to the Nosferatu, those that live in the dirty places of the world and just don't care about it.

Nuwisha are the Malkavians... and I'll get to them someday (though I really don't want to).

citybeatnik
Mar 1, 2013

You Are All
WEIRDOS





InfiniteJesters posted:

Basically they're the Werewolf answer to the Malkavians, except with actual certified feral badassery thrown in to boot?

As Kurieg said, they're more the "lone outsider information broker" stereotype splat that WW adores so god drat much. However, they took that and added in " Working class heroes " which in my mind instantly makes everything better.

Part of the weirdness of the tribe comes from the fact that they're the closest (save for Glass Walkers) to how we think. In a strict, hierarchical, xenophobic society like the Garou you have set societal roles that you have to follow; the Bone Gnawers VOTE on things for Christ's sake and don't seem to care that other people don't respect them. That's enough to make an Elder get the vapors. I'll hold off on saying anything else because it's going to be covered. But, yeah. Totally not hiding my glee with this.

Hedningen
May 4, 2013

Enough sideburns to last a lifetime.


Good to hear people are interested in some good, old-school Mutant. I'll get some portions translated and posted up as soon as I can.

As part of the larger project, I think I'll start off with 1984 Mutant, and then move forward into some of the more recent games. It's pretty quick to talk about (if you know BRP, then you know how the game plays), but the setting information is pretty much the entire selling point of a game like this. There's a lot of fun stuff, and it's got that classic RPG line-art that we all know and love.

Plus, there are at least three different dudes named Lars involved in the process of giving the world Mutant, so you know it's gonna be good.

Comrade Koba
Jul 2, 2007





Tasoth posted:

I'm game for seeing the Mutant RPG given it is supposed to be the precursor of Mutant Chronicles, and that setting has a special place in my heart.

The original Mutant setting and Mutant Chronicles are basically completely unrelated, though.

secretly best girl
Mar 27, 2007

I see you choosing that other route. How dare you.



The Wheel of Time Roleplaying Game

14: Actual Threats

We're going to play a game this time! Instead of putting them down alphabetically, I'm going to rank the remaining monsters (all Shadowspawn, recall) from least-deadly to most-deadly, and explain why I put who where. Then I'll tell you what the challenge codes for each are when we're done. The answers might surprise you!


Goat-Boy's dick cousin

Trollocs are pretty much your standard tier-one orc/goblin/etc. of the setting: a hybrid of men and various beasts (boars, goats, wildcats, etc.) to create BEASTS OF EVIL which could be made en masse as cannon fodder for the armies of the Dark One. They don't like daylight, as you might expect, taking a -2 attack penalty when engaged in it. They might actually be WORSE than your generic orc due to the fact that a lot of the time, to keep them in line, they have to be bonded to a Myrddraal as a master, 1d6+20 can be serving a single Myrddraal. Kill the boss and all the Trollocs under them drop to the ground and die in a round or two. Gruesomely, too, they convulse and writhe before croaking.


No but seriously the artist in this book really used quite a lot of "reference material" for the creature chapter

Nosferatu up there is a Draghkar, who can't attack worth poo poo (1d6 from a claw) but have two abilities you can straight up murder dudes with: "Captivating Song" is a charming melody that you get a single save against - if you're safe, you get to be immune to it for a day. If you gently caress it up, you're in its power until it stops singing, period*. You're headed directly towards the creature via the shortest path possible, which is when it will probably use its Kiss, a melee touch that provokes opportunity. Make a fortitude save every round of the kiss or lose 1d6 points of Wisdom permanently. Needless to say, this is going to kill you very quickly if you can't roll Fort worth a drat. Combine this with flight to escape should your fellow party members come to assist and these things are a drat vicious creature. Luckily they get 16HP tops.

* Sort of. If it tries leading you into dangerous terrain (through fire, off a cliff, etc.) you get one more chance to save, but that's the last chance.


Bland.jpg - it's cool, it's on purpose

Gray Men actually aren't quite the same as the other Shadowspawn, instead being people convinced to not only serve the Dark One, but straight up give their souls away. Their bodies end up as husks, somehow making them seem completely bland and fitting wherever they are - perfect assassins. Mechanics-wise, this means +8 to Hide/Move Silently checks as a racial bonus (they already have +13 Hide and +10 Move Silent in their statblock! this is pretty crazy!), and can Hide at any time if they aren't engaged in combat. Just go walking around completely unnoticed by guards, party members, etc. Not good for their targets, they get Sneak Attack dice as well as a three-rounds-of-study Death Attack to straight up save-or-die someone. And studying a target doesn't count as an "out of the ordinary" action to make them visible.

Again, did I mention that this is a game where numbers are usually LOW? And that these guys can be sent in groups of 1-4 according to the "Organization" chunk of the statblock? They're pretty potent. However, in what's one of my favorite little bits of "the villains aren't idiots" lore chunks, if a Gray Man (group?) fails to kill a target, nobody sends another set. That's just wasteful if you know it doesn't work.


You're facing entirely the wrong way to bark at the moon, what the hell, Greg

Darkhounds:
  • are the only Shadowspawn to come in "Lesser" and "Greater" varieties
  • come in packs of 2-8
  • have poisonous blood that anyone using a non-Large, non-ranged weapon is going to get splashed with on every attack they hit with (remember, nothing cures poison in this book, so each hit is gonna do 1d6 STR and maybe 1d6 CON damage if you gently caress up a save!)
  • have poisonous bites which are even nastier than the blood (one bad save = 1d6 CON damage, two bad saves = DEAD), this is their only attack
  • are even nastier sumbitches in their Greater form: add another hit die, regen/5, and a complete inability to be killed with anything other than the One Power. If you cut them down and do not channel them to death, they just get right the hell up again.

Honestly, the only reason I'm not ranking these dudes higher than the next guy on the list has to do with the fact that "lesser" Darkhounds exist + the one-two punch the next guys have to gently caress up your saves.


No, those aren't wings, it's a really weird drawing

Remember when I said that Trollocs were usually linked to another creature to order them around? Meet the Myrddraal. Let's keep that Trollocs-as-orcs metaphor from earlier going: if a Trolloc breeds with anything that's not a Trolloc, one of two things happens: the animal half is more dominant in the offspring and it dies, or the human half is stronger and we get a Myrddraal (just referred to as a Fade for the rest of this writeup because it's a common nickname in the novels/it's a lot easier for me to not gently caress up and misspell). That's right, a Fade is this setting's answer to half-orcs. These dudes just look like a somewhat-tall human male aside from, you know. No eyes at all. Entire cultures up near the Blight have developed around not letting these dudes in to gently caress people up: it's illegal to cover your face within most city walls, and the streets are kept blindingly lit at night because oh did I mention they can also instantly travel through shadows to any other shadow within miles?

They've also got Blight-forged blades that both inflict a wasting disease (1d6 CON every day after you get struck by it), and also deal damage which cannot be recovered in any way but Power-based healing. No potions, no herbs, nothing but a channeler is fixing you up if that sword hits skin. In addition, there's an also-Blight-forged armor that's individually fitted per Fade (+4 AC, +6 DEX bonus max... hey guess how much of a DEX bonus they all get, c'mon, take a guess!), and the ability to "see" the One Power being weaved - if one of these is on your trail, channeling will lead them right on top of you. Usually with 20 or so Trollocs. I saved even worse for last: if you are within 30 feet of a Fade, make a Will save or take 1d6 minutes of fear (-2 to all rolls/saves). If you kill a Fade, tough luck, buddy: these dudes stay alive until the next sunset. No matter what time of day it is when you kill them, they have a chance someone will get them back up until the sun goes down, even if you burn them, behead them, whatever. (It does, however, mention that they can't heal on their own when below -10, so that's a plus, they need assistance. Maybe, like... 20 Trollocs worth of assistance.)

Yes, there's something even worse than this.


This dude takes out one of my favorite characters in the novels.

Lore-wise, you're probably never going to sic a Gholam on your crew. This is one of those things that got created during the War of Power that made everybody nervous: even the Forsaken didn't want too many of these kicking around, and so only 6 were ever created, 3 of each gender. They are straight up channeler-killers. These are the only living thing in the setting immune to balefire, and, in fact, all weaves. Period. They are also immune to criticals/sneak attacks, being completely boneless, and that anatomical oddity means they can squeeze through any hole 1/16th inch thick with no problem. Similarly, it lets them move quite quietly: +8 racial bonus to Move Silently (and a +19 skillset for it). They take class levels too if you think they're not lethal enough! So that can be added onto the pile, with a damage reduction 5/+1 to boot.

The concept of these dudes is actually really cool, but drat if they are not basically a massive "gently caress you" to anyone who ever has to bring one down. Rather high HP for the game (not counting class levels, again), the only DR in the entire creature chapter, and by the description, they make sure to go for non-channelers first since the mages can't do poo poo to them. Pairing one of these up with ANYTHING is probably going to off some PCs.

So! Let's get back to that game I mentioned: here are the challenge codes for each of these creatures, and I'm gonna add the "challenging" (ie, average) level that the chapter gives for an encounter like this beside as a reminder.

Darkhound: D/E (6-8/9-11)
Draghkar: C (3-5)
Gholam: G (15-17)
Gray Man: E (9-11)
Myrddraal: E (9-11)
Trolloc: A (1-2 on "simple", it's not even recommended to toss at a "challenging" encounter. DESPITE THE GROUPS OF 2-6 IF THERE'S NO FULL BATALLION/FADE)


I still loving hate that challenge code system.

Next Time: Artwork Roundup!

Quinn2win
Nov 9, 2011

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




Great Ork Gods, Part 3: Moral Issues

Let me quote the rulebook directly on the subject of moral issues.

Great Ork Gods posted:

Moral issues? Moral issues!? This is not a game for dealing with moral issues! Smash stuff! Kill things! Treat the Goblins with cruelty and contempt! Steal stuff! Pull the legs off insects! This is not a game to take seriously, and if your players are worrying about such matters you've done something wrong.
Moral issues indeed! Pah!

Moving right along. Stunts!

Each God has an associated domain of tasks. If you're fighting someone, you use Slashings and Slayings. If you're sneaking, you use Sneakings and Peakings. However, a creative player may be able to come up with a way to shift a roll to a different God - for instance, instead of fighting the enemy halfling with his axe, picking him up and throwing him into a lake, shifting from Slashings and Slayings to Lifting Stone, Pounding Rock.

This should generally be allowed, as it makes things funnier and more interesting. However, under no circumstances can a player shift a roll from a God they don't control to a God they do. If a Stunt is refused for whatever reason, then the Ork must make two rolls - one for the regular effect, and one for the special effect they hoped to achieve. So, in this case, the Ork would have to appeal to both Slashings and Slayings and Lifting Stone, Pounding Rock.

Oog! Oog is everything to an Ork, and the goal of any Great Ork Gods adventure is to acquire as much Oog as possible. Oog begins at 1 every time you roll a new Ork, and can be acquired in two ways. The first is by killing your fellow Orks - Every time you kill an Ork with more Oog than you, you gain one Oog.

The second is by accomplishing the objectives set by the GM for the adventure. In the sample adventure given in the book, the Orks are raiding an idyllic village in order to kidnap the mayor's three daughters. If the Orks succeed at capturing the daughters, then each Ork gains 2 Oog... however, for each daughter an Ork kills, he gains 1 Oog, for a total of 3. The correct course of action should be obvious.

Oog does actually do one thing! It allows an Ork to expand his retinue of Goblins.



Each Ork starts with a single goblin, and gains one additional goblin underling every time they gain a point of Oog. Goblins can be used as a resource to make your tasks easier, but only if the goblin dies. The player must describe a way in which killing or sacrificing a goblin allows them to more easily accomplish their task. The goblin is expended, and either the difficulty of the task is reduced to Easy, or one point of Spite is neutralized.

Outside of sacrificing them to make rolls easier, an Ork can generally order goblins around. Your goblins will do whatever you tell them to (although they will follow your orders extremely poorly), unless another Ork with a higher Oog than you gives them a contradictory order. Using goblins like this is rarely actually useful, but it IS funny.

In the bizarre event that you want to keep a Great Ork Gods game running for more than a single session, keep your Orks, but redistribute the Gods at the beginning of each session. Each time an Ork survives to the end of a session, it gains one additional point of Hate for the god of your choice.

This is pretty much all there is to Great Ork Gods. It's a simple game, but a fun one, and I can't recommend it highly enough if you can find a group with the right Orktacular mindset for it.

Next, I'll do a writeup of a game that is more or less the exact opposite of this.

Quinn2win fucked around with this message at 14:55 on May 7, 2013

JohnOfOrdo3
Nov 7, 2011

My other car is an asteroid



I NEED to play this game. This sounds so easy and fun to run. You don't even need to stat enemies! Just put the players together and watch it happen

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


ProfessorProf posted:

Each Ork starts with a single goblin, and gains one additional goblin underling every time they gain a point of Oog. Goblins can be used as a resource to make your tasks easier, but only if the goblin dies. The player must describe a way in which killing or sacrificing a goblin allows them to more easily accomplish their task. The goblin is expended, and either the difficulty of the task is reduced to Easy, or one point of Spite is neutralized.

I admit I was lukewarm on the game until I read this, but that's just adorable.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



I really want to play Great Ork Gods.

Ars Magica 5th Edition: The Core

There's all sorts of cool poo poo in historical Europe that you can mine for Ars Magica game stuff! The game loves sidebars suggesting how historical poo poo can be brought in. And sidebars in general. Here's a very important one!



See, the Church is important. While Church doctrine probably will not come up all that much on its own, the Church will. Sacraments might come up - for example, suppose a number of grogs and covenfolk decide they want Confirmation, but since they live at the covenant, they've never had the chance. Time to go talk to a bishop and find a way to get them through the catechism without the covenant being tried for heresy. Perhaps a relatively pious magus seeks confession and is assigned a pilgrimage in penance, without the use of magic. Perhaps a newly-pious covenfolk begins to have horrible dreams of drowning. These dreams are trying to get him to get baptized, but he dies before he can be, and a friend of his dreams of him burning in hell as a result. Now, the PCs must get everyone in the covenant baptized to placate the friend...and perhaps even find a way to baptize the dead guy posthumously. (Hey, it happened before. Pope Gregory the Great convinced God to baptize Emperor Trajan posthumously, though God reportedly told him not to ask again.)

And of course there's Saints, the most common form of divine intervention. What happens when a saint becomes interested in a covenant and tries to guide them towards God's will...while the Magi desperately try to prevent a Dominion aura from springing up and weakening them. What if a local priest wants the magi to pay their tithe, since...well, legally they're still required to do so, it's just that in practice no one ever asks them to. What do magi do when confronted by true miracles of God?

And that's before we get into the nobility! What if the local lord asks for your help in keeping costs down and entertaining his liege when he comes visiting? What happens when a local, rather hostile lord leaves town for a while and his wife comes to ask you for help managing the fief? What about when a shapeshifter tries to infiltrate noble houses for some nefarious purpose in the form of a dancing bear? Or when the local talking stag comes to ask you for help because nobles are hunting it? Hell, suppose a magus is the fifth son of a noble and unexpectedly becomes the new lord due to his four brothers all dying. The Order doesn't allow that! What do you do? After all, if he abdicates, war will happen. What about when a local lord raised his sole child, a daughter, as a boy in order to ensure she inherited his lands? The girl has settled into the role and is now the lord of the manor...but she's expected to marry a woman and carry on the line. She comes to your covenant for help.

What if you want a low-key story? You could make an adventure of just sending the grogs to the local market and dealing with thieves, avaricious merchants and the troubles of daily life. Don't worry too hard about getting history wrong, though. It's just a game, and most of your player probably won't care. If they do, just either declare that the wrong detail has never been wrong and is true, or retcon poo poo. No biggie. Alternate history's cool. Just keep in mind - the PCs are the main characters, and the story revolves around them, their troubles and their covenant. Their actions should determine what happens. Ars Magica is very big on the PCs being special and important.

The End!

All right. Where do we want to go from here? I'm going to be focusing on cool player options and goals. I have access to most of the books, but some aren't available in PDF. So we can talk about : the True Lineage Houses of Hermes and their secrets (Houses of Hermes: True Lineages), the power of God and its impact on you (Realms of Power: The Divine), Mystery Cults (The Mysteries, Revised Edition), the Mystery Cult Houses (Houses of Hermes: Mystery Cults), more depth on Covenants (Covenants), the power of Hell (Realms of Power: The Infernal), mercantile life (City and Guild), the lost magic of the past (Ancient Magic), the Societates Houses (Houses of Hermes: Societates), France (Lion and Lily: The Normandy Tribunal), academic life (Art and Academe), the realms of magic and magical beings (Realms of Power: Magic), the other spellcasters of Europe (Hedge Magic, Revised Edition), the Faeries (Realms of Power: Faerie), nobility (Lords of Men), other rival spellcasters of the world (Rival Magic), the Church (The Church) or the Middle East (Cradle and Crescent), Germany (Guardians of the Forests: The Rhine Tribunal), a book on various grand goals a magus might have (Hermetic Projects) or Greece (Sundered Eagle: The Theban Tribunal). I'm working on getting ahold of the Transylvanian Tribunal book.

What do you want to hear about?

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

I WILL DERAIL ANY THREAD TO DEFEND PEOPLE WHO CHEAT ON THEIR SPOUSES BECAUSE I THINK THEY CAN DO NO WRONG. DO NOT LISTEN TO ME. I AM FUCKING STUPID.


Fun Shoe

Devils! I wanna hear about devils.

Lemon-Lime
Aug 6, 2009


Cradle and Crescent sounds like the most interesting choice.

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine


Cradle and crescent, because you never got to the Zoroastrian stuff in the main thread.

Kellsterik
Mar 30, 2012


Hermetic Projects sounds interesting, i'd like to hear about that.

Hedningen
May 4, 2013

Enough sideburns to last a lifetime.




Mutant: It Takes a Lot of Lars To Make A Swedish RPG

Might as well get started - it's time for the most Swedish of RPGs, Mutant. First published in 1984, it's one of the most beloved games ever to come out of the wintry Northlands. Published by TAMB Äventyrspel in 1984 after their success with Drakar och Demoner, it runs on the BRP engine, which many of us may be somewhat familiar with. Still, Mutant has its own unique charms, and I don't know of any good translations yet, so this is going to be part overview and part-translation.

So, what does the creator have to say?

Fredrik Malmberg posted:

In Fall of 1983, we began the first drafts of a project which came to be called "Mutant". I asked Michael Petersen to write a game and got the first version in March of 1984. After reading it, I gave it back for editing and got it back at the beginning of summer.

Playtesting and editing brought in several more people who came up with criticism, made comments, and brought in new ideas.

I would like to thank Michael Peterson for his patience and tolerance during the game's development. He has let me change, revise, and re-work the game according to my own will, all without too much protest!

Setting and Background
Even before we get to the rules, we're presented with the background of the game - hell, this stuff comes before the traditional "What is an RPG" forward that is required for every single game. Still, this is kind of a neat setting, so I'm just going to translate it for people who want to run their own games, even without the rules. It's pretty classic post-apoc stuff and clearly influenced by Gamma World, although there are some key differences that really make this game shine.

”Mutant” posted:

The first century of the second millennium rapidly changed the lifestyles of the entire world. Technical and political advances followed one another in a never-ending stream.

A new Russian Revolution took place in 2011, and after half a year of anarchy, the Soviet Union was once again an empire. The other states behind the Iron Curtain soon followed, one after another, following Big Brother's example, and by the year 2020, calm had settled over the former Communists.

They quickly formed a peace treaty and defense pact with the USA. The Alliance then crushed the Great Chinese People's Republic in a series of short, bloody conflicts. During this, they detonated five nuclear weapons inside the Great Wall of Chine.

Western Europe protested half-heartedly, already embroiled with internal struggles between politicans and representatives of big business.

The governments also had another thing to worry about. Environmental problems spread further and further from the detonation site, and the mass withering of plants became a serious problem and threatened the world's food supply. Logging of the South American rain forests continued with unabated intensity. Following this (according to the warnings of quickly-silenced scientists) came a great deal of climate change in the tropical and sub-tropical zones.

The technological development progressed in leaps and bounds. Computers became more and more sophisticated and were everywhere. The first Cyber-computers, where artificial and human intelligence were joined, saw the light of day.

This greatly increased the control of the individual. It became necessary to make computerized ID-cards for almost all public functions.

Parallel to this, space research went further and further. The first in a planned series of multi-generational colony ships was sent out to further broaden mankind's knowledge of of the universe. Just beyond Pluto, contact was lost with the gigantic ship, which has never been heard from again.

In the year 2060, a manned mission was landed on Mars for the third time. For the third time, they also took mineral and plant samples for transport to the planet.

At a research station in Arizona, a catastrophe occurred. Several inattentive seconds caused a leak in a sealed room. It was more than enough time for an unknown organism to escape.

At first, nothing happened. The organism was harmless, but it proliferated rapidly and suddenly mutated. Three years after the unlucky accident, it had become a deadly scourge. It began in China, and quickly spread over the rest of the world. Over a billion people died in the following two years, and widespread panic ruled the day.

Governments helplessly watched the plague's progress. No known medicine was capable of helping, and once someone was infected, the chances of recovery were almost non-existent. Those who survived the plague were often killed in the constant riots that followed the protests against the government's inaction.

The prognosis was clear: mankind is on the road to extinction.

In the year 2075, the remaining governments and heads of state gathered together in a crisis meeting. It was decided that all resources were to be allocated towards building self-sustaining underground cities. This way, mankind would at least have one last chance to survive.

The initiative was important, and ten years later, the cities, called “Enclaves”, were the last place on Earth where humanity survived. Virtually all animal life and over 50% of the world's plant life died during the plague.

But these Enclaves were not the final solution. Gradually, problems with energy, nutrition, and waste emerged. Fairly soon, man would be forced to return to the surface of the Earth.

Researchers wagered everything on a bold plan. They decided to genetically manipulate numerous animals, plants, and even people in the hope of finding a mutation which could survive on the ruined Earth's surface. A great number of unique mutations occurred in these laboratories and were sent out into the devastated world. Most died, but some adapted to the new conditions. Slowly, a functioning ecosystem was revived. It was certainly unlike the original, but at least it was fairly stable.

Over time, relations between the various separate Enclaves worsened. Discoveries were kept secret, and espionage became common. Attempts at sabotage and conspiracies targeting important figures became the norm. In the year 2103, war broke out between the Enclaves. It was a grim, brutal war without winners. Twelve years later, the last Enclave was abandoned and destroyed.

A variety of fusion and fission-weapons had been used, and in just twenty years, the atmospheric radiation level was over 100 REM. The fallout slowly transformed to harmless isotopes.

But radioactive fallout was not the only thing that transformed during that time – life-forms on the planet also transformed.

It was found that the laboratory-induced mutants had incredibly unstable genetic material. Mutants mutated anew, and a jumble of breeds and species spread across the world.

Now, it has been nearly 400 years and the world is filled with more or less strange creatures, remnants of the former technology, and a strong desire to build a new civilization. The world of Mutant awaits you!

Society in Mutant
The year is roughly 2500. The old days, before the plague, are almost entirely forgotten. No one speaks “the Old Language”, apart from a handful of robots. Existence is a tough battle for survival and the rebuilding of society . . .

When play begins, the world is divided into small communities with different governance and varying technological levels. There are some major communities; one is a communist society, another is democratic, and a third is a bloody dictatorship. Some zones have armies and well-guarded borders. Some of these have communities of between 7 – 10 thousand people. The most common, however, are small farming communities with little technology.

The mutated animals, which generally have significantly higher intelligence than our time's animals, tend to keep to themselves – dogs have their own territory, as do bears, and so forth and so on. Animals often live by hunting and fishing, but some of them survive through farming. There are no non-mutated animals, apart from some insects that look the same as they did before the Plague. Otherwise, all species are more or less mutated, including the unintelligent animals which roam the land.

There are some communities where both animals and humans live. They often consist of individuals who have broken away from their original community or village and started over again.

In large parts of the world, there is only wilderness, where various tribes (both animal and human) survive as woodsmen, hunters, and fishers. Woodsmen often know bits of news from other parts of the world. Every so often, woodsmen discover societies and cities which have been isolate for a hundred years or more. The reaction to these meetings is variable – there is as much a chance of an overwhelmingly positive reception by the community as there is a chance of caution and outright hostility.

Some uninhabited areas are called “Forbidden Zones”. Originally, these were severely-irradiated areas: the radiation has mostly dispersed, but there are still some areas with intense radiation. In these Forbidden Zones, one can find ancient ruins from before the catastrophe – sometimes entire ruined cities or bombed-out military bases. Inside the Forbidden Zones, one can often find advanced technology. Terribly mutated monsters – even mutated plants – oftentimes life in these Forbidden Zones, which are sometimes even patrolled by robots or protected by other security systems. Most tribes and communities have stopped exploring these areas – hence the name.

In the countryside, technology is fairly unusual. The most advanced thing one might see in a small village is steam power, or something like it. The local residents are usually quite protective of their technological treasures and guard them as best as they can. Villages are often surrounded by a palisade for protection against the strange creatures that prowl through the night.

In the larger cities (between 3 and 7 thousand inhabitants), there may be several steam-powered devices, and even some small industry. The most effective weapon that can be manufactured here is the flintlock (also known as a muzzle-loader). They are mostly found in cities, and most often with bodyguards or the local police force. Although there are communities with even higher technology levels, they are incredibly rare.

In densely-populated regions, there are even mail riders (which rides on a mutated version of present-day horses) and heliographers (mirrors which are mounted in special towers ever few miles. By reflecting sunlight, one can send a message via Morse Code). It is rumored that some very well-developed cities have set up a steam-driven wagon on rails between them. With that, one can send people and goods even faster than the mail riders.

High-tech devices are almost exclusively in the hands of adventurers and in the hands of community leaders. Some armies (which almost never consist of anything more than a hundred men) might have some military technology, such as a mortar. Villagers and other rural folk often fear high-tech devices, because they only see the results of using these devices.

War between different villages and communities is commonplace. Animal-communities rarely tolerate intruders in their territory and often fight one another. Non-mutated Humans usually look down on mutated animals and humans, and the feeling is often mutual.

Because there is no uniform monetary system, barter is common.

In the Forbidden Zones, there sometimes are surviving Mainframe Computers and Cyber-Computers. There also exists religious sects which worship high-tech devices and refer to objects from before the Catastrophe as “The God's Possessions.”

Those who control the small, independent communities often have different goals. Some want to unite the neighboring villages and build a large city. Others want to develop their own communities and move towards industrialization. Others just want to have peace and tranquility, and let life take its own course. But all of them known almost nothing about the time before the Plague. When civilization perished, most of the important historical sources disappeared, and in the difficult times that followed, the Old Language and how to read it were forgotten. Survival was more important than knowing how to read or write.

So that's the basics of Mutant. Definitely an interesting way to handle things – rather than the usual “Nuclear apocalypse wipes out everything”, it was a mutated alien plague that managed to kill most of the people, and the mutations are considerably more intentional.

This is part of why Mutant is so good – it handles the idea of mutation really well. There has to be a reason for all of these mutated things somehow surviving, and knowing how long evolution takes, they figured it had to have gotten a little bit of help from the various scientists attempting to survive the plague.

It also gives the person running the game a poo poo-ton of freedom – there's a huge number of available plots to be found in just the setting introduction alone, and it fleshed out the world quite a bit without going into too much detail. I'll cover some of the important (and specific!) bits later, but for now, you've got the general idea of the world.

Next time – Basic Rules, Character classes, and some awesome tables to roll on

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

Mutant Swedish Bears too!!!

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



The storm has a name... - Let's Read TORG


Part 4: Interactions, violent and otherwise

This post is going to cover a couple of chapters, but I'm going to try and keep it short since they're pretty dull chapters.

We get a full chapter on Skills. There's nothing really too spectacular here, but there are two things I'd like to point out:
  • There are just shy of 50 skills, not counting skills that will be introduced in the world books.
  • 12 of them have their own tables. Admitedly, those tables are all "here's the difficulty to do X", but still. More tables.

Needless to say, Torg has a fairly granular skill list. There's a Space Vehicles skill. There are four separate skills for magic, and two for miracles. Acrobatics, Running, Long Jump, and Maneuver are all separate skills. And again, that's not including the skills that are cosm-specific or added in later books. It's not as bad as, say, BESM (where you had to buy every type of attack and defense separately), but given how few skill adds you start out with, you have to be pretty focused.

There are optional rules for narrowing skills down if you don't think the list is granular enough, or broadening the scope if you don't like having so many skills.

You can also get a "trademark item" for a skill by spending three possibilities; when you use your trademark item your effective skill increases by 2. This is not the current-RPG-style "you will always have this item" deal where the trademark item has a level of plot immunity, however.

quote:

The item cannot be replaced. If it is permanently lost or destroyed, the specialization is lost, and must be bought again for another such item. Only one "trademark" item may be specialized per skill, and if the character has a type specialization as well, the trademark must be of that type.
Just because you built your character spent his hard-earned XP/Fate Point/metacurrency things doesn't mean you get to keep them. This is a theme that will come up again later, just so you know.

From the Skills chapter we move onto a chapter about using Cards. This is more GM advice on how to expand on the things the card will tell you (like what it means when the villians get an Up result) and work it into the overall story, both mechanically and narratively.

One new thing here is Dramatic Skill Resolution, which is for those moments where you want to stretch out the resolution of an action to more than just the result of one skill roll. This is for things like trying to beat a timer or reach someone before they accompish their own task, and it uses the middle row of the Drama Deck cards.

as seen here

When you're doing a dramatic skill resolution, you break the single use of a skill (like science to shut down a missile launch console) down into a maximum of four separate steps labeled A, B, C, and D, and assign a difficulty for overall challenge. You can assign one task to more than one letter.

Let's take the "disarm the launch console" example. I could say that step A is figuring out the password, step B is finding the launch control part of the software, step C is disarming the missle warhead, and step D is cancelling the launch. I could also say that getting into the system is both steps A and B if I wanted, but let's stay with the four-step setup and say that the difficulty is 10.

A character can only attempt to do one step per round, and can only perform steps that are showing on the top card of the Action Stack (i.e., the card that is currently being used for initiative). Not only that, but steps have to be performed in order. You can't disarm the warhead until after you get into the system. On the plus side, if the card shows more than one sequential step, you can try to multi-action your way through them in one round.

As cards get flipped, you can run into setbacks. Drawing a "possible setback" moves you back one step ("oops, looks like the computer locked you out of the system"), while a "complication" card increases the difficulty of the remaining steps by 1.

If you fail a skill roll during a challenge, then there's no problem beyond wasted time...unless a "critical problem" card is in play. If you fail at that point, you have two options: either start over from step A ("dammit, this must be the wrong login. Now I gotta start again"), or start using a different skill ("The computer's locked up hard, but I think I can get under the controls and rewire things").

If the player can't complete all the steps before whatever timer he's trying to beat runs out, he can attempt a Last Ditch Effort succeed; he attempts to perform all the remaining steps with a One-On-Many skill use with +4 to the difficulty.

Now, that's all well and good, but the problem is that you're at the mercy of the card flips for determining what steps you can try to accomplish. Which means it can be a little tricky for the GM to work out how much time to give the players.

quote:

To have a good chance of having the sequence A,B,C, and D appear in order requires 14 cards to be flipped if the character is going do the steps one at a time, or about 10 cards if the character is skilled enough to attempt two when the opportunity presents itself. If your characters have high skill levels (larger than the difficulty number), good cards, and no other pressing business, five flips is fine; otherwise we recommend giving them seven to 10 flips before disaster strikes.

There is one card I forgot to mention before, and that's the Glory card. Playing a Glory card actually requires you to roll a 60 or more on an action that has a direct important impact on the scene. If you manage to pull that off, then every character gets an additional 3 possibilities at the end of the adventure. There's also another effect, but I'll get to that later.

The next chapter is about Character Interaction, which is an expansion of the charm, persuasion, and intimidation skills.

Charm has the most mechanics, because it has the most conditions (charming someone "requires five minutes at the minimum."). Ultimately, charm is used to move people's attitudes up the Interaction Results Table. You roll against the target's willpower, and if you succeed their attitude towards you improves a bit. If you do well, you can even get a permanent effect out of it. If you fail, then you can't charm them anymore that scene unless you attempt to press the issue.

If you press things and succeed, it's a normal success. If you fail, though, then the target's attitude drops one step.

Persuasion is also a roll against willpower, and is more about getting people to do what you want rather than making them like you. Again, there's a chart you move up and down to determine the target's overall reaction. You can also use it for haggling.

quote:

Haggling takes place in alternating rounds, usually using the drama deck to determine initiative and advantages.
Yeah, in case you were wondering why I'm rushing through these sections? That's why. These chapters are crunchy as hell, and it's not even entertaining crunch. Seriously, there's almost 2 pages just on how to use the charm skill with all the conditions and cross-referencing. On the plus side, there's a lot of examples, but you have to ask why the hell you need this level of complication to use a simple social skill.

The only social skill that doesn't need a lot of space is intimidation, and that's because it really only has two uses: to awe someone to get them to freeze and miss an action, or to interrogate someone, which is like persuasion but meaner.

But enough about talking to people! It's time for the Combat and Chases chapter!

And again, this is mostly a rehashing of the player's chapter on combat, only with more detail and a few more rules that the GM is supposed to be the custodian of, like range modifiers. Remember, the player just rolls a result on his skill and the GM is expected to add all the modifiers and determine the result.

There are a few things here that I don't think we covered before, like aiming (+3 attack value for each round you aim) or called shots (-8 to the final value of the attack, but +4 damage value).

Oh yeah, and this is in the armor section (bolding mine):

quote:

Armor absorbs much of the punishment meant for characters. Armor increases the character's Toughness for purposes of resisting damage, up to a maximum value as listed in the equipment section (Gamemaster Chapter Twelve). The amount of increase is called the armor add. The maximum value is necessary for realism, to prevent wrapping a battleship in leather to make it tougher, when the leather would be completely ineffective against the attack forms against which a battleship is armored.
Ah, the good old days before a GM would say "no, leather armor won't make the battleship tougher, stop being a jackass."

Moving on, we learn of the two types of surprise: complete (where the attacked party wasn't expecting it at all) and normal (where the attacked party was expecting something, but didn't know what or from where). Complete surprise lets the attackers play two cards into their hands before combat, normal only gets you one.

There's more rehashing here, things like active defenses and taunt/tricks. There is a bit on the Maneuver skill, which lets you get into a better position by placing a negative condition on your enemy, like setback, which means he loses any secondary roll he'd normally have access to through 10's, 20's, or spending possibilites.

The chapter closes out with the Chase rules. When you're chasing someone, you need two totals.

First, each side rolls their appropriate skills (like driveland vehicles). Whoever rolls higher choses to either try to close with or avoid the other side.

The second total is used to determine how far everyone's going in the round. You take bonus of the first roll and add it to your movement value, and then use that total on the Push Results Table to determine how far you moved this round.


Okay, I know that was rushed. I did that for two reasons. First, I don't think anyone's paying attention to the preliminary rules chapters because you only care about the setting stuff. Second, it's because the rules, while complicated, aren't that interesting.

Really, everything in the skill and combat chapters more or less boils down to "roll this skill, add a number, and look it up on one of the dozen GM tables". It's just dull, in the way that only something needlessly complex can be dull.


But look at the bright side! Next post will be about possibilities, axioms, world laws, realms, cosms, and High Lords! You know, the part you've all been waiting for!

NEXT TIME: The metaphysics of the multiverse! The actually interesting part of the game!

Quinn2win
Nov 9, 2011

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




Ryuutama, Introduction: Hayao Miyazaki Presents Oregon Trail

Ryuutama is a Japanese tabletop RPG that puts a spin on fantasy adventuring that I haven't seen in any western game. The theme of the game is travel and discovery. Combat is an afterthought. The equipment section has more kinds of umbrellas than it has weapons. Classes have next to nothing to do with how they fight monsters. It's a game about regular people discovering the secrets of a fantastic world.



Did I mention the art? The book is alternatingly gorgeous and adorable, and it's available legally and for free here - click on the green button on the left that says "高解像度PDF". The illustrations are low-resolution in the free PDF, unfortunately, but we can't get everything for free, I guess.



Players play travelers of one of seven classes - Minstrel, Merchant, Hunter, Healer, Farmer, Crafter, or Noble. Each comes with three Skills related to their profession that can come in handy on the road or in day to day interactions. Separately from your class, you pick a Type that is a bit more analogous to a D&D class - Attack, Technique, or Magic.



The 'Ryuu' in 'Ryuutama' means 'Dragon', and dragons are the game's mechanically-supported GMPCs. As the GM, you pick from one of four dragon races - Green, Blue, Red, or Black - each corresponding to a different sort of adventuring theme. In the lore of the world, dragons are creatures that consume stories as sustenance, so your goal as a dragon (and as a GM) is to use your powers to devise interesting and memorable adventures for the travelers, so that their lives are filled with excitement and you can thrive on the stories they create.



Next: Game overview, and a bit of setting lore.

General Ironicus
Aug 21, 2008

Something about this feels kinda hinky




ASHEN STARS
Website
pdf on DriveThru RPG

Part 6: Over Drives

Drives are the emotional motivating factor for a Laser's actions. It's the reason they stick their neck out and what keeps them hunting for a new contract after the last one's finished. While GUMSHOE is still a procedural game, the Drives can be seen as a precursor to the emotional interactions that make up Laws' DramaSystem.

Drives are also supposed to compel characters to act when players are feeling cautious. Space Opera protagonists are meant to leap into danger with a swagger and gritted teeth, or at least a quick hesitation before diving in anyway. If your players would rather poke everything with a 10 foot pole from behind cover, ask them how their character's drive would motivate them to act. In extreme cases a GM can assess a stress penalty to spends and difficulties until a character begins acting more in line with their Drive.

Anyhow, this is yet another list chapter. The one after this isn't, so take heart. Drive Time:

Chapter 4: Drives

Altrusim: With the Combine on its knees the need for good people to act for the benefit of others is greater than ever.

Atonement: You can only erase your terrible wrong by improving the world at every opportunity. This might be a matter of conscience, repentance, or an extreme Community Service sentence. Slowly revealing the nature of your past wrong is an automatically cool Personal Arc.

Avenger: Someone close to you was destroyed by the lawless and you're out for revenge. Maybe you got your vengeance on the specific culprits, and maybe not, but your crusade is now against all lawbreakers. You are space Batman. Hunting for your space Joe Chill is another ready-made personal arc.

Bleedism: The Combine is over and it ain't coming back. You're out to create a new Federation; by, of, and for the Bleed. You're providing local solutions to local problems, and when the Bleed stands on its own your efforts will be rewarded.

Civilizer: The Mohilar war wrecked planets, cities, economies, and everything else. Your work as a Laser is meant to rebuild the bonds of society so new glittering cities can rise, and new art can flourish, and everything can go back to how it was.

Chronicler: As a writer you need a wide variety of life experience to draw from, and nobody has more of that than a Laser. Whether you intend to write the great history of the Bleed, or a blockbuster serial holonovel about dashing heroes, your magnum opus will have the unique stamp of life as a Laser.

Combinism: By reducing the lawlessness and chaos in the Bleed you are paving the way for re-assimilation into the reborn Combine. You probably used to have, or would like to have, a commission in the Combine fleet. You don't get along very well with Bleedism, but individual Bleedists may not be so bad.

Comradeship: Whatever your initial motivation was, now that you've been working the Bleed you see yourself as a band of brothers. Your ship is your home and the other Lasers your family. You value loyalty above all else.

Derring-Do: You go where the action is. An adrenaline junkie hotshot is a surprisingly useful person when things get hairy.

Entrepreneurial: There's cash to be made out there, and you're sure Laser work is how to find it. What better way to make contacts on a hundred worlds and pile up favors to collect on later could there be? There's not a lot of income in it now, but a ship with a good enough reputation can grow into something more, the sky's the limit.

Exploration: Before the war the Combine endeavored to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, and all that stuff. Even now that's still in your veins, and the Bleed has plenty of dark corners left to see.

Faith: You are dedicated to your religion and advance its creed by your actions as a Laser. This doesn't mean setting up a soapbox on every planet, but that you let your actions demonstrate the truth of your faith.

Family Tradition: You come from a line of Combine fleet officers. Somehow you fell out of the regular military, but slumming around on a Laser crew still beats civilian life.

Footloose: The vast reaches of space are hardly big enough for you. Every landfall you make leaves you anxious to leave for the next one. Maybe one day you can lift the ban on teenage dancing.

Hotshot: You were born gifted and love the chances Laser work gives you to show it off.

Hunger Tourism (Kch-Thk): Your eternal hunger to feed is balanced by a desire for new flavors. Flying around the Bleed lets you sample all sorts of new organic matter. Here's another direct quote about why Kch-Thk are the best:

quote:

You probably keep a journal of your gustatory adventures, which you periodically beam to kch-thk communications network. These are enthusiastically devoured by envious readers, who yearn for news of unfamiliar ingredients.

Integrationist (Cybe): You're one of the few Cybes that seek a place for your people among humanity. The super-soldier enhancements you were created with are a natural fit for Laser work, and you hope to demonstrate that your similarities are stronger than your differences.

Justice-Seeker: Without the law the powerful do what they will and the innocent wait to be exploited. You take it upon yourself to enact not only the law, but true justice in the Bleed.

Meditative Reconciliation (Tavak): While all Tavak pursue inner peace, you go much farther, practicing a meditation known as Gahud, the three-step staircase. The first step explored the self. The second step is about the outside world, and pushes you to test yourself by experiencing physical extremes, interacting with those greatly unlike you, and working positive change in the world. Laser work is a natural fit. In your old age you will take the third step, integrating the inner and outer world, living for perhaps thousands of years in a deep coma. The earliest practitioners of Gahud remain sleeping on the Tavak homeworld, the only people able to live in its poisoned atmosphere.

Nowhere Else to Go: The name says it all. You washed out of everything you've tried and everywhere you've been. You're dedicated to the job at hand, because if this doesn't work out, what could possibly be left?

Phase Rider (Durugh): All Durugh can phase through solid objects, but about 3% have a genetic anomaly that makes phasing under stress cause ecstatic psychedelic visions. Maybe you see them as part of a nufaith religious practice, or a source of prophecy, or you just want to see the show.

Professionalism: You take Lasering seriously because it's your job, and you take pride in a job well done.

Pursued: Someone's after you, and your job is a means to stay one step ahead. You commit yourself to your work and your team so that when your past catches up to you, you'll have a crew of experts on your side. This is another ready-made personal arc.

Programming: Somebody poked around in your head to make the perfect investigator. You brave danger and solve mysteries because your deepest instincts compel you to. You may or may not be aware of the modification, and either way could suggest its own personal arc.

Re-evoluiton (Vas Mal): The limited form of your abilities still available to you says the secrets of re-evolution are somewhere in the Bleed and will be found by a Laser crew working on a seemingly unrelated case. You joined up in order to make the prophecy come true.

Role Model: Kids these days haven't got anybody to look up to, at least not the kids where you come from. You seek to break down the barriers and show there is a future for your small, derided, or oppressed group as the leaders of tomorrow.

Scientific Inquiry: Laser contracts often revolve around strange phenomena and unknown technologies. Your laboratory is out there in the Bleed and it's waiting.

Self-Exclusion (Balla): When a Balla cannot control their emotional outbursts it becomes contagious, destabilizing whole communities. That happened to you, and you have been exiled among aliens to prevent it happening again.

Sexual Adventure: Everybody looks good in a uniform and that's a fun position to be in. You have the chance to have a girl in every port, and no chance to get bogged down with attachment.

Social Engineer (Cybe): The Cybes are a new people seeking a new culture. You seek out many various societies to study them and synthesize an ideal model upon which the new Cybe worlds will grow and flourish. Laser crews are exposed to many such societies, and more importantly the ills they give rise to.

Something to Prove: For some reason or other you've been written off all your life. Nobody gives you respect, or at least not the person you most want it from. Now you work twice as hard in the face of certain danger in the Bleed to prove they were wrong about you.

Tech Hound: You love taking apart and rebuilding systems, and you never love it more than when under fire and everyone's counting on your work. The work rebuilding the Combine is more stable and lucrative, but where's the challenge in that?

Next Time: The actual rules, finally



This Kch-Thk has the houseruled drive, Fashion Maven

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



1d4 roll on those votes says...

Ars Magica 5th Edition: Realms of Power: Infernal

First up, we're just briefly going to define some terms. EVil, for one. Evil is the lack of good - it is a privation, a negative. This is based on Catholic doctrine as laid out by Saint Augustine. All evil is negative, not positive. The Infernal Realm and evil are synonyms, despite one being a location and the other a quality. The nature of the Infernal is the sum total of all opposition to the desires and needs of people, and the source of all suffering. Evil can be divided into three types.

Moral evil, AKA sin, is the act of free will against the order of God, and the action that results from that. Failure to act when you should is moral evil, too. Moral evil is objectively evil, preventing you from realizing your full nature. It's not evil because God firbids it; God forbids it because it is evil. Physical evil is that which deprives you of some natural good. Anything that causes harm, whether injury or sickness, thwarting of desire or preventing spiritual development is physical evil. Sickness, poverty, oppression, death, mental suffering - that's all physical evil. It's not the same as sin. Experiencing suffering is a physical evil but not a sin. Causing suffering is moral evil, and therefore sin. The last kind of evil is metaphysical evil, limitations or lacks caused by your own nature. Many hold that it is not true evil, for it is negation of a greater good. Predatory animals must kill to eat. Desert climates are hot and cause suffering. Humans cannot breathe water. This is metaphysical evil, and none but God can be held accountable for its existence. (Drowning, as a note, is not a physical evil, as a result.) The purpose of magic, for many mages, is to exceed their own limits and thus overcome metaphysical evil. This is why the Church is often wary of magic, for the only being that is without metaphysical evil is God, and attempting to become like God without God's assistance is seen as a potential act of immense hubris.

Anyway, now that we've defined our terms, we know that moral evil is caused by free will and physical evil by the actions of demons or free will. The Infernal realm, as the embodiment of evil, is a twisted reflection of God's creation. It is parasitic upon the divine light, for God granted free will. Were it not for humans and free will, the Infernal would be harmless. Of course, some parts of the world are tainted by Hell. These infernal regiones are divided into Tartaran Regiones, which are places of pure hellfire, which burns horribly and is especially painful to the sinful, and Abyssal Regiones, where the gifts of God are withdrawn, and life is maddeningly dull and will-sapping. The power of the Infernal can warp people just as magic can, and such warping tends to lead to obsession with sin and unnatural abilities derived from sin.

Vis can be found in Infernal regiones, and vis can be infernally tainted. The least dangerous kind of Infernal vis is vis infesta, which is not especially dangerous to use save that any botched spell while using it botches even more than normal. Vis sordida is really a weak distillation of evil itself, and it actually provides more power than normal vis when used. On the other hand, it makes spells more likely to botch and taint you with Infernal warping. (Infernalists, of course, are safe from both negative effects of these types of vis.) Vis prava is the worst of it, found only in strong Infernal auras. It automatically causes spells to check for botch when used, making botches ten times more likely. Also, it warps those who study it and taints anything it is used for. It is vaporized by Divine auras, at least. Of course, in the hands of an infernalist, vis prava is extremely potent and has no real downsides. Very nice.

Let's see...moving on, there is one trick that sinning can get you: power. Sin feels good, you see. It is an act of self-indulgence. By ritually engaging in sin over the course of a season, you may accept Infernal warping into your soul in order to regain confidence and power. Even those without a Confidence score can do this, making it fairly powerful. Of course, the more sinful and tainted you are, the worse sin you need to commit. This is especially easy in "tarnished" auras, Infernal auras that draw out a particular type of sin.

So, now, let's talk about the Devil. In Judaism, of course, angels have no inclination to evil or 'yezer ra' - they only have urge to do good. Therefore, angels cannot commit sin and no angel could rebel or fall, so the Devil cannot be a fallen angel. Ha-Satan, the Adversary, is that angel which most opposed the creation of humans because he saw their potential to do evil, and who was thus given the duty by God to test and tempt humanity in order to see whether humans fall to sin or remain just. He has the satanim, a group of angels, to assist in this. Instead, the closest that Judaism has to a devil is Sammael, the so-called Poison Angel, who is the incarnation of the yezer ra and the product of the nonexistence which God defined by making a place that existed. Anyway, Sammael is the true Devil, and Lilith is one of his wives, the mother of all demons, after she left Eden because she refused to submit to Adam and later chose to follow and submit to Sammael.

The Christian Devil, Satan, is conflated with the Jewish ha-Satan, and is the Adversary of God, not man. He is also called Lucifer, a fallen angel of light. He fell due to his love for himself over God, whom he tried to replace. A third of the Heavenly Host fell with him, but God hurled them into the Pit, turning them into demons. Basically the same sort of pure evil fella as Sammael. The Islamic Devil, Iblis, is neither angel nor human, but jinn, a creature of smokeless fire who led angels in the name of God. Iblis was made lord of the earth for fighting wicked jinn, but when God created man, Iblis refused to bow before him and was burned by God, cursing him to Hell, along with all who followed him. Iblis became Shaitan and swore vengeance.

So who's right? Who knows? The Jews are partially wrong, at least - some demons are fallen angels, while others are former human ghosts. And some seem to have sprung forth from Hell itself. Celestial demons are those who rejected Heaven, and terrestrial demons never knew it in the first place. Some also claim there are Infernal angels, such as the satanim, who do God's work in Hell, though none are sure who these angels truly serve. In practice, the difference between these groups isn't very large.

Can you play a demon? No. Demons are beings of pure evil who have no good qualities. Any good traits they appear to have are lies - they cannot possess true good, and instead are able to, at best, falsely mimic it in order to better tempt and corrupt humanity. All demons are weak to the sacraments of divine faiths, prayer from the devout and holy relics. In Christian lands, demons cannot take physical form on Holy Saturday, the day between Good Friday and Easter, and no demon may expend their magical might from Holy Saturday until sunset on Easter day. In Jewish homes, if all sins committed in the past year are atoned for in the five days between Yom Kippur and Sukkot, then all demons affecting the family must flee and not return for a full year. And no demon may use their magical powers to affect a Muslim who has completed the hajj in the last year so long as it was properly and devoutly performed. All demons, like all angels, possess a True Name, a secret name that they do not give out easily, for it makes magic easier to perform on them. Of course, many grimoire contain the True Names of demons, so they're not that hard to learn. Demons do have free will, but have all chosen evil and so possess no inclinations to do good, so they are wholly corrupt and any free choice they make is also wholly corrupt.

But, you ask, since I can't play a demon, why do I care? Sure, there's tons of demon stats, but they're for GM use. Well, there's some story hooks. For example - a demon might well take on the form of the son of a local noble, who approaches the noble's retired old advisor to get advice on morality and politics. Why? Because demons lack the quality of prudence, it being a virtue, and the demon wants to take advantage of the advisor's prudence to guide its schemes. What do you do when the lynchpin of a demon's plan is a poor, deceived old man? Or perhaps after killing an infernalist, the PCs find a talking cat caged in the lair. The cat claims to have been imprisoned for some nefarious purpose...in truth, it is the demonic familiar Lickspitten, who would gladly love to be taken as a familiar by a magus. Or suppose a group of Luciferan cultists have summoned some demons but were unable to bind them and were eaten. The demons now prowl the region, causing fear and confusion. One of the local priests has misinterpreted this as signs from the Book of Revelations, since the demons summoned were the textual DEmons of the Fifth Trump, and is now preparing for the end times. What do you do?

But yeah, since you can't play as a demon, what can you do with the Infernal? Well, you can play an infernalist, of course! Hell can grant False Powers, which replicate the abilities of many supernatural powers. But that's less interesting than, say, utilizing Chthonic magic, Infernal power or Goetic binding. We are also introduced to the Mythic Companions. A Mythic Companion takes the same 'character slot' as a magus. They rival a magus in power, and receive double points for any Flaws they take - so instead of the 10 Virtues/10 Flaws limit, they have 21 Virtues/10 Flaws. Devil Children, Diabolists and Summoners are all Mythic Companions.

Devil Children are personally created by potent demons, made for a specific task. They are tragic figures, blessed with mighty Hellish power but doomed to a short life of being manipulated by their demonic parent. However, Devil Children are not damned by birth, and possess the free will to choose good or evil. Most are evil, thanks to the manipulation of their parents, but not all. Some seek redemption. Devil Children are a very high-power form of Mythic Companion, typically suggested for games containing more potent characters.

Diabolists are those who renounce God for Satan, making a relationship with demonic powers in exchange for dark magic. Such people gain Infernal power, learning much of magic and darkness. They practice the maleficia, the dark powers of Hell. Unlike Devil Children, being a Diabolist is pretty much just straight up evil. They're basically Evil Hell Wizards. They may not be particularly malevolent, but they are evil. (The sample Diabolist is a heretic who has turned to evil because he is obsessed with seeking the truth of every mystery, and his pride refused to allow him to believe he was wrong about anything. He was raised by diabolist monks in Glastonbury Abbey who led him into sin and blasphemy, and his pride also won't let him admit that maybe it was a bad idea.)

Summoners descend from the Sho'elim'ov, the spirit-borrowers and necromancers of Jewish history. They were seen as sinister monsters for their abilities to speak to the dead, and the Torah forbids them explicitly. However, their arts have spread in the form of the Ars Goetia, and not all summoners are sho'el'ov. Most are hermits served by ghosts, often envious and prideful rather than ashamed of their gifts. Some are simply born with the knack and learn from the demons and spirits they bind, but most are taught by other summoners. Most summoners are evil, but they don't need to consort with demons - some are merely necromancers, and frankly, that's no more evil when they do it than when a Hermetic does. Most are, however, greedy for power and willing to make unwise deals...though they tend to be good at driving bargains with supernatural beings. Unlike Diabolists, a Summoner is not necessarily damned and evil by virtue of their power.

Next time: We make some Mythic Companions!

Tell me about our Devil Child, our Diabolist and our Summoner.

Mors Rattus fucked around with this message at 19:10 on May 7, 2013

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



Oh boy Ryuutama. I hope other people like this as much as I do.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011


Can our summoner be an elderly man looking for the ghost of his wife and is being lead astray be a demon in the disguise of another ghost, preferably someone he knew or trusted while they were alive? He means well, but he's being played by the powers of hell for shits and giggles.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Tasoth posted:

Can our summoner be an elderly man looking for the ghost of his wife and is being lead astray be a demon in the disguise of another ghost, preferably someone he knew or trusted while they were alive? He means well, but he's being played by the powers of hell for shits and giggles.

If by elderly you mean '35', sure. I, at least, never let starting characters go over 35 because at that point the Aging rules get involved, and also you tend to become way more powerful if allowed to be super old.

That said, 35 is basically the moment right before you start being middle-aged at best. Or old, depending on your health and medical history.

Bitchtits McGee
Jul 1, 2011



Part 5: Long Way Down (One Last Thing)

For all the awfulness in this write-up, there have been some things I've had to filter out. Little details, mostly, easily spotted errors in both grammar and continuity, or the use of certain pronouns on certain feats and abilities that suggest they were written with one hand. This one time, though, I feel it's important to present things exactly as they appear. Gentle readers, behold: the final boss of Black Tokyo.

Chris A. Fields posted:

Shingami (CR 25)
Beyond Colossal Giant
Init -4; Senses Darkvision 60 ft
Aura Radioactive Hell (heavily irritated area 150 ft)
Languages Mindlessly repeats circa WWII anti-Japanese catch phrases

Defense 27, touch 2, flat-footed 27(-8 size, +25 natural)
hp 30d8+300 (435 hp); DR Damage Resistance 10/good
Fast Healing 3 Spell Resistance 22
Immune Acid, Fire, Radiation, Suffocation, Drowning, Vacuum, Massive Damage, Ability Score damage/drain, Energy Drain, Negative Levels
Resist Electricity 20,

Speed 100 ft (cannot run or shift)
Melee +49 melee slam (4d6+26 bludgeoning plus 4d6 fire, 18-20/x2)
Melee Space 500 ft x 500 ft.; Reach 150 ft
Base Atk +23; Grapple +65
Atk Options Squirming Cock Rush +49 melee (hits up to 3 enemies within 30 ft of each other), (4d6+26 bludgeoning and 1d6 fire) or
Slam +49 melee (4d6+26 bludgeoning plus 4d6 fire, 18-20/x2) or
Fling +23 melee (thrown 500 ft straight up or any direction, falling damage 20d6 REF DC 60 halves)
Horrific Orgasm (20d10 acid, 500 ft cone, REF DC 28 half, once every 3d6 rounds)
Abilities STR 52 DEX 3 CON 31 INT 3 WIS 15 CHA 9
+26 -4 +10 -4 +2 -1
SQ Eventual Return
Feats Power Attack, Cleave, Great Cleave, Improved Sunder

The Shingami is the ‘western god of death’, a colossal psychic monster created from the hate and bigotry of an entire nation. Born during World War II, the Shingami is the living embodiment of American sin- the loathsome spirit that put Japanese-Americans into camps, and the same rage that burnt the world at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Like the Genbu, the colossal Shingami has slept through the decades, somewhere deep beneath the Sea of Othosk. Coral has grown over the monster’s resting place, and every day cargo ships drift lazily by above. For most, the Shingami is long forgotten. Only a handful of Japanese arcanists serving with Police Section Seven believe the monster still lives and even fewer have a plan to destroy the great beast if it should ever reawaken.

The Shingami stands taller than most of Tokyo’s sky scrapers, and it’s sheer mass shakes the ground with every step it takes. The monster resembles a gigantic ebony ape with dozens of jagged horns nearly half a kilometer long protruding from its spine and the crown of its head. The Shingami’s sickly yellow and black face is like something out of a WWII propaganda poster- a slant eyed, bucktoothed, leering parody of a Japanese man’s. Dozens of penis tendrils, each the size of subway trains whip, from beneath the creature’s bulging gut. The Shingami’s eyes glow a bloody crimson, and its light is strong enough to blot out the sun. From head to hooves, the monster is wreathed in atomic flames.

Radioactive Hell (SU): The Shingami laughed at the atomic end of World War II, relishing the destruction. It is a creature of elemental atomic fire. A 150 ft radius around the behemoth is considered heavily irradiated and remains so for 1d6 minutes after the Shingami passes.

Squirming Cock Rush (EX): The Shingami’s enormous prehensile cocks strike up to three enemies which must be within 30 ft of one another with every attack. Make one attack roll for all adversaries, and this is considered a single attack. All enemies struck by the behemoth’s cock suffer the same amount of damage.

Fling (EX): If the clumsy Shingami can get hold of a Huge or smaller target, it can toss the target up to 500 ft in any direction it chooses. If attacking a Medium or smaller target, it may scoop up two adjacent Medium sized enemies with a single attack roll. It really, really likes doing this.

Horrific Orgasm (SU): As often as once every 3d6 rounds, the Shingami can ejaculate waves upon waves of acidic greenish-grey semen from every one of its dozen cocks. Bits of the corpses it has created rush out mixed with the acidic spray.

As a full round action, the Shingami unleashes a 500 ft cone of acid which inflicts 20d10 points of acid damage to everything within the blast radius. Characters caught within the spray may attempt a DC 28 REF Save for half damage.

Eventual Return (EX): The Shingami is nearly impossible to ever truly destroy. It can only be permanently slain if a character of American nationality voluntarily chooses to sacrifice themselves to the task. The creature must first be brought to negative HP equal to its maximum positive HP total, and the American sacrifice must immolate him or herself atop the gigantic corpse. Otherwise, the slain behemoth will return to life in 4d6 months, or upon the next Akashita Wind storm.

There may be more books for this game, but I sincerely doubt there's anything that could possibly represent it more clearly or accurately than this: shamelessly derivative and unilaterally offensive while stubbornly maintaining delusions of satirical commentary. A fitting note on which to fade out at last.

Next time: alandmakersayswhat? I can't wait!

Bitchtits McGee fucked around with this message at 22:54 on May 7, 2013

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012


Was he trying to be clever by mashing together "New" and Shinigami, or did he just screw up writing Shinigami every single time?

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


ProfessorProf posted:


Ryuutama, Introduction: Hayao Miyazaki Presents Oregon Trail

Yay! This would be great to see translated.

Kurieg posted:

Was he trying to be clever by mashing together "New" and Shinigami, or did he just screw up writing Shinigami every single time?

Boo! I think this is an example of being unable to translate from Japanese to Japanese, honestly. Or not really understanding the mythology. Or...

Bitchtits McGee posted:

Chris A. Fields posted:

Aura Radioactive Hell (heavily irritated area 150 ft)

... well. I certainly would be irritated to see that in a game!

Bitchtits McGee
Jul 1, 2011


Kurieg posted:

Was he trying to be clever by mashing together "New" and Shinigami, or did he just screw up writing Shinigami every single time?

If there was a single case in any of the books I went through where Fields used Japanese at all competently (and there were a lot of candidates), I must have missed it. Son-of-a-bitch barely had a handle on his English most of the time.

JohnOfOrdo3
Nov 7, 2011

My other car is an asteroid


Bitchtits McGee posted:

Gentle readers, behold: the final boss of Black Tokyo.

I found the idea of a personification of the hate of an entire nation and the deaths from world war 2 kind of interesting, and it could be a fantastic final boss.

Then I remembered what game this was for and was really disappointed

pospysyl
Nov 10, 2012

SO EMBARRASSING



Tribebook: Bone Gnawers

"Falling Down" and Chapter 1 Part 1

quote:

Once upon a time, I thought I was free.

You know that old axiom, “the first sentence of a story tells you everything you need to know”? Brian Campbell really seems to have taken that to heart.

The main character of “Falling Down” was a working stiff with three minimum wage jobs. He lived a pretty squalid lifestyle, making ramen in the coffee maker, drinking soda for breakfast, the worst. The job we're talking about today is Burger Czar at O’Tolley’s, the Pentex version of McDonald’s. He had a dorky uniform and his attempts to modify it were spoiled by his knowledge that thousands of other workers modified the uniform in exactly the same way. His main task was to take abuse from customers who buy food he can barely afford with an employee discount.

There were a few things that broke up his pathetic life. At O’Tolley’s, there was a regular customer who went by Walter, but everyone called him Wimpy. Wimpy was a crazy homeless person. He’d beg for change until he had enough to buy a single burger and a glass of water. He’d rant and rave about the kinds of things crazy homeless people rave about : conspiracy theories, giant rats, secret vampire societies. He was a weirdo and our hero hated him for that.

The second thing that brought our hero some solace was drinking with his friends. These particular friends were Black Dog fans who did all kinds of perverted poo poo in their games. If you got them started on their games they wouldn’t shut the gently caress up, so instead our hero talked about his work, mostly about the crazy poo poo Wimpy would say. They had beer money, though, so they were okay.

One night, the crew was wandering around drunk and they came across Wimpy. Our hero saw Wimpy and thought about all the times he had to serve him and act polite to him and listen to his stupid stories. One thing led to another and the gang beat Wimpy down. Wimpy took it, as if he accepted that he was the kind of person these things happened to.

The next day, our hero woke up guilty. He kept to his routine (the only way to keep sane) and went to O’Tolley’s. Wimpy showed up without any marks or scars from the fight. The only thing different about him is that he bought his burger and left, no stories, no nothing.

A few weeks later, our hero was doing his routine, telling all the customers “Thank you very much,” no matter how much poo poo they gave him or how detestable they were. One customer, though, reacts strangely. It turns out that he had said “gently caress you very much, ma’am.” This of course gets him fired, and he’s ready to do a dramatic exit when he sees Wimpy laughing at him. This freaks him out, so he slinks out.


Bone Gnawers are too poor for ink.

For a month he hunted for a job, unwilling to debase himself before his stepfather. He was eventually evicted. Without any gas money, he decided to pack all his stuff in his truck and sleep in his car. He’d use his gamer friends’ house to bathe. One night, returning to his car when he got tired of his friends playing Revenants or whatever, he encounters Wimpy. This time, though, Wimpy shoves him. Wimpy kicked him around a little bit, and starts to grow and get a little fierce looking. Wimpy attacked him like an animal. Eventually Wimpy calms down and tells our hero that he’s a Bone Gnawer kinfolk.

Nowadays our hero is free. He’s not tied down by possessions or that poo poo. He lives out of his car. Every day he goes to O’Tolley’s and orders a single to take to Wimpy, and every day Wimpy says, “Thank you very much. gently caress you very much.”


If you want a picture of the future, imagine a werewolf booting a human face, forever.

What a story! It’s pretty dang good. The problem is that it literally tells you that our hero’s life pre-Werewolf is crappy. The “homeless people have it great!” moral is also a little disconcerting. It’s one thing to believe that homeless people deserve their misery, but to actually believe that they’re better off homeless is, to my mind, even worse. Still, the description of low wage America is furiously awesome. It shows what the werewolves are fighting against superbly. It also gives us a good look into the kind of life a less homeless werewolf might lead. It goes for something very different than most tribebook intro fiction, and I like it.

[s]Next time: "An Elder Gets Drunk on History"[s]

Ah, gently caress it. Let's start Chapter 1!

Before that, though, let's take a look at the credits page. Brian Campbell's the guy responsible for this book. It's hard to find a complete bibliography for him, but I happen to know he was the main writer for Clanbook: Nosferatu, so those of you mentioning the parallels between the two splats, you were on the money. Wikipedia tells me he worked on Star Wars and Call of Cthulu d20 properties. He also worked on Fading Suns, so he's made a lot of appearances here on F&F.

We have a light art staff for this book, and if there's one huge weakness to this tribebook, it's the art. The first picture in this update is pretty typical work. Ron Spencer is back on sample character duty. He has some great designs, but that's for another day. The interchapter art is also decent, if a little samey.


The Bone Gnawers have a long and storied history of hitting dudes in the face.

That aside, let's get drunk on history with an elder. The history chapter in Bone Gnawers is back to traditional White Wolf splatbook style, with various narrators offering perspectives. The chapter itself is a Recitation, a Gnawer storytelling ritual. One Galliard begins the story and anyone can interject if they believe they can tell the story better or if the leader draws a blank. Control of the story passes from teller to teller. Anyone can join in if they have the charisma and the moxy. This is actually a very traditional mode of tale telling, so it's great to see it here. The Gnawers also engage in Testimony, which is like Recitation, but it's in response to a request for information about a particular supernatural creature. If there's a vampire in town, various tellers will testify everything they know about vampires, for example.

The tribe here is gathered around a barrel fire, and a bottle of hooch is passed around to denote the storyteller. The elder begins his story by admitting that there's really no way for the Bone Gnawers to present a true account of their history. Unlike the other tribes, they can't contact their ancestors. Their lineage is too mixed for that. Of course, it doesn't matter much now that the Apocalypse is on its way.

The narrator alleges that the Bone Gnawer doesn't have a true ancestral homeland. They're more of an international werewolf community; if Gaia thinks you're good enough to be a werewolf, you're good enough to be a Bone Gnawer. Once you first changed, you left behind your humanity. You don't need tribal hierarchies or possessions or histories. The Bone Gnawers are a family, and there's plenty of room around the barrel fire. Rat looks out for her own and there's macaroni and cardboard stew to go around.

The Bone Gnawers are proud scavengers, lurking on the edges of history. The Bone Gnawers were tasked with taking care of all scavengers, spirits and animals and humans alike. The Gnawers protected humanity when the other tribes ruled over them. Bone Gnawers was an insult, one of the oldest in the Garou tongue. They were great warriors, overwhelming their enemies with numbers when all else failed. They were and are the shock troops of the Garou Nation.

Eventually, mankind built cities to protect themselves against the werewolves. Once the tribes realized that continuing to war against them was futile, the Concordiat was formed and the Garou Nation pledged to set itself apart from humanity to let human civilization to develop. Two tribes refused to do this. The nascent Glass Walkers were well-respected so they could do what they wanted. The Bone Gnawers, on the other hand, got the raw end of the deal. They couldn't survive without humanity to scavenge off of. So they stayed in the cities, in defiance of the Litany. The Silver Fangs declared them "urrah", or tainted, and so the Bone Gnawers formed their tribal identity.

Next time: "Forsooth!"

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AmiYumi
Oct 10, 2005

I Forgot To Hail King Torg


JohnOfOrdo3 posted:

I found the idea of a personification of the hate of an entire nation and the deaths from world war 2 kind of interesting, and it could be a fantastic final boss.

Then I remembered what game this was for and was really disappointed
This does sound like the perfect way to troll your gaming group, though. "Everyone brought their characters for the Black Tokyo game? Good, this campaign is about resentment and atoning for the sins of one's forefathers, with a heavy self-sacrifice component. Also, acid jizz."

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