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Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine


Ars Magica has my favorite solution to players deciding that it's time to kill the Pope.

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MJ12
Apr 8, 2009



Ettin posted:



Unveiled Threats: Guns and Words

Most of this book can be done in one post, so I'm going to.

Chapter Two: Dealers of Death can be skipped if you don't care about guns, but there's some Chrysalis stuff buried in here! The pre-chapter fluff is about a couple of Chrysalis executives/Dhohanoids bringing weapons to Rapine Storm cultists, and then the chapter opens with a list of the top weapons manufacturers in the NEG.

Norinco Inc.: Norinco is a terrible company that makes lovely versions of other people's weapons. Everyone laughs at them and wonders how they stay in business. The secret is to do a lot of business in parts of society where there's no paper trail! "It is most often Norinco arms that fall off the back of trucks and find their way into the hands of the Disciples of the Rapine Storm".

Score one for "Cthulhutech's developers never bothered to research anything outside of Western Europe and America".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norinco

You see, not only is Norinco a pretty competent firearms and crew-served weapons manufacturer (hearsay is that the QBZ-95 is a good rifle and sure, they make M-16 clones, everyone loving does), but they've done things like make:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZM-87

The world's first antipersonnel laser weapon. Sure, only 22 of them, but they aren't exactly a terrible company that makes lovely versions of other people's weapons with no business sense whatsoever.

And automatic grenade launchers:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_87_grenade_launcher

See? The lovely racism in Cthulhutech isn't just against brown people, yellow people get it bad too.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
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#1 Builder
2014-2018



Mr. Maltose posted:

Ars Magica has my favorite solution to players deciding that it's time to kill the Pope.

Well, they can still kill the Pope. It's just he's got more magic resistance than most people will ever have and has as much armor naked as most people do while wearing scale armor. Also he can invoke miracles.

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine


That's why it's my favorite solution. Instead of being impossible, it's a huge and probably campaign spanning effort.

Erebro
Apr 28, 2013


Tatum Girlparts posted:


Gah Pickman's Model wasn't scary because of the picture, it was scary because the entire point was that his subjects were real! It was supposed to make you think that maybe the 'insane artists' you occasionally see aren't insane at all. How can you right a Cthulhu RPG and not get even the base idea of why his stories were scary?

I would bitch here about using "right" instead of "write"...

...But it seems oddly appropriate. Like righting a ship, after this garbage capsized it.

It's at times like this when I can't help but think that Eclipse Phase and Eldritch Skies are CTech's Mirror Universe versions, where it is balanced, smartly written, and actually lives up to its promise.

Frankly, I would suggest a full rewrite, but at this point, it's better just to scrap the setting and create a better one with the same premise of Giant Robots in the Lovecraft verse. Maybe advance the tech and power levels of Eldritch Skies a bit, include asides about how cults of hyperspatial entities dream of arcane mecha designs that they may manufacture with an extreme minimum amount of needed resources, and pull out the old "how to construct a gameline in the Unisystem" instruction booklet. Hell, the cults would even be better antagonists: Just imagine the creepy factor of Yellow Signers greeting you over the intercom not with warcries and threats, but lullabies and reassurances. They're not here to kill you, after all-they're here to save you. From the pain of living, yes, but still.

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


Tatum Girlparts posted:

I've been waiting for so long for The Violator. It's maybe the worst thing in the entire line, it has literally no reason to exist in the book, not even able to hide behind the 'well it's HORROR, duh!' like the fish-rape adventure because it's so over the top stupid there's no way any group who 'encounters' it doesn't just go 'what the gently caress is wrong with you, Jerry, we close the door and walk away never to speak of this again'.

For some reason this makes me offended on behalf of Wilhelm Reich, who was a crank but not an evil one. That's not how you're supposed to gather orgone energy!

GimmickMan
Dec 27, 2011



I was expecting torture porn, but no, even that would be too high a standard. They have a Nazi Rape Machine. gently caress Cthulhutech forever.

InfiniteJesters
Jan 26, 2012


Leliel the 12th posted:

Frankly, I would suggest a full rewrite, but at this point, it's better just to scrap the setting and create a better one with the same premise of Giant Robots in the Lovecraft verse. Maybe advance the tech and power levels of Eldritch Skies a bit, include asides about how cults of hyperspatial entities dream of arcane mecha designs that they may manufacture with an extreme minimum amount of needed resources, and pull out the old "how to construct a gameline in the Unisystem" instruction booklet. Hell, the cults would even be better antagonists: Just imagine the creepy factor of Yellow Signers greeting you over the intercom not with warcries and threats, but lullabies and reassurances. They're not here to kill you, after all-they're here to save you. From the pain of living, yes, but still.

Why not just wait for the next version of Adeptus Evangelion?

ThisIsNoZaku
Apr 22, 2013

Pew Pew Pew!


InfiniteJesters posted:

Why not just wait for the next version of Adeptus Evangelion?

Hasn't that been in the works for like 50 years now?

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


InfiniteJesters posted:

I never thought I'd want to ever read Bliss Stage again, but at least its rules aren't a complicated oldschool mess like this and it doesn't have a loving metaplot.

I bolded the part the C-Tech developers seem to think is most important. I think the most bizarre part is how thoroughly, completely incapable these assholes seem of realizing that this isn't objection to SEX, it is objection to RAPE. They don't seem to get that there's a difference between the two.

Christ, I need a shower.

InfiniteJesters
Jan 26, 2012


ThisIsNoZaku posted:

Hasn't that been in the works for like 50 years now?

Even if it's half-finished I'd still warrant it's as or more playable than CTech.

Ettin
Oct 2, 2010



Bonus Norinco facts:

• Their NIR-05 light rail assault rifle is a knockoff of Armorcorp's RG-3, which was a test model of their real shotgun that Armorcorp mass-produced and sold to make back the research costs. To represent the NIR-05's faulty energy system, if you fire it in any mode other than single shot and get more 1s than 10s in your attack roll the power system fails until the weapon is repaired.

• The NIS-88 is a copy of the standard Benelli M-87 shotgun which not only accepts its magazine but can have nearly every part of it swapped for a M-87 part. I imagined an Eldritch Society PC buying the Norinco NISS-88 and looking for shotgun-wielding Children of Chaos cultists to steal parts from. They could just steal their shotgun, but dammit, they paid for this NISS-88 and they're gonna get their money's worth!

ThisIsNoZaku
Apr 22, 2013

Pew Pew Pew!


I bought the CthulhuTech core when it was new because of how kick rear end the preview art was. I helped keep these people in business.

I am so sorry. I didn't know, I DIDN'T KNOW!

Edit: Come to think of it, where did that book end up anyway?

ThisIsNoZaku fucked around with this message at 07:59 on May 12, 2013

Erebro
Apr 28, 2013


InfiniteJesters posted:

Why not just wait for the next version of Adeptus Evangelion?

Nah. In that game, you'd be working for the Yellow Signers.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

ThisIsNoZaku posted:

I bought the CthulhuTech core when it was new because of how kick rear end the preview art was. I helped keep these people in business.

I am so sorry. I didn't know, I DIDN'T KNOW!

Edit: Come to think of it, where did that book end up anyway?

It's lurking. Waiting. Building a machine with nine chairs, all of them for you.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Leliel the 12th posted:

Frankly, I would suggest a full rewrite, but at this point, it's better just to scrap the setting and create a better one with the same premise of Giant Robots in the Lovecraft verse. Maybe advance the tech and power levels of Eldritch Skies a bit, include asides about how cults of hyperspatial entities dream of arcane mecha designs that they may manufacture with an extreme minimum amount of needed resources, and pull out the old "how to construct a gameline in the Unisystem" instruction booklet. Hell, the cults would even be better antagonists: Just imagine the creepy factor of Yellow Signers greeting you over the intercom not with warcries and threats, but lullabies and reassurances. They're not here to kill you, after all-they're here to save you. From the pain of living, yes, but still.

I'd go ahead and replace the Mary Sue Not Drow with Deep Ones allied with humanity. The Deep Ones realized they were in the same pond as we are and made a deal with the governments of the Earth, exchanging tech for surrogate mothers for their offspring. And, of course, everyone's weirder out by the deal.

sexpig by night
Sep 8, 2011
I AM A BIG FAT STUPID FUCKER WHO SHOULD STAY THE FUCK OUT OF CSPAM

Young Freud posted:

I'd go ahead and replace the Mary Sue Not Drow with Deep Ones allied with humanity. The Deep Ones realized they were in the same pond as we are and made a deal with the governments of the Earth, exchanging tech for surrogate mothers for their offspring. And, of course, everyone's weirder out by the deal.

This is a really good idea since there is plenty of writing showing Deep Ones aren't near as stupid as the slaves to The Old Gods, and have a much more pragmatic view of the world. That'd be some great roleplay too because there'd always be that undertone of 'ok you're just our buddies until the world gets unfucked, then you're going to try to eat us or whatever you fish monsters do with humans who don't want to bone down'.

Plus you have Y'ha-nthlei as their major city right by Devil's Reef, so no need to, you know, throw the not-black-people in the Dominican Republic.

gently caress now I want to play a Deep One fighting The Old Gods.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
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Ars Magica 5th Edition: Realms of Power: The Divine

Miracles are the magic of the Divine. Like maleficia or Hermetic magic, they combine two aspects - a method and a holy power. The three methods are thus: First, invocation, the addressing of God and the angels, commanding by name and asking for aid. This causes miracles, perhaps because they listen and intervene, or perhaps because you understand God's nature such that you can wield His power and speak with His voice. It requires Confidence to use. Second, meditation, relaxing the mind and body to concentrate on the Divine and enter an ecstatic state in which you gain insight into yourself and the Will of God. It can only affect the self or others who meditate with you. Finally, purity, creating holy effects by fasting, forgoing rest and purifying the spirit and flesh. This causes natural yet miraculous change to the world, coming from within the target rather than any apparent outside source. It is a highly tiring form of miracle.

These methods and powers are taught by holy traditions, often based on a particular faith, though they are not religions themselves but cultural and philosophical attitudes towards miracles. Each specializes in a handful of abilities, though those with True Faith may learn more than the specialties. You can only ever join a single tradition, however, to gain the benefits of their specialties. Those without True Faith can only learn the specialties. The book now presents the Ascetics, who practice ritual purity of mind and body to distance themselves from the physical and become closer to God. They tend to take vows of self-sacrifice, basing their lives on humility and obedience to Divine Will. Most Christian ascetics belong to a holy order, though some are hermits. However, ascetics come from all religions and are a good 'generic' tradition. They specialize in Adjuration, Cursing, Purity and second sight.

Unlike other magics, the holy powers require specific combinations - for example, you can't invoke to call on divine intervention, nor use purity to grant blessings. Failure to invoke a miracle properly, however, will bring Divine wrath upon you, punishing you with a tragedy of hubris - perhaps warping, being granted a flaw, suffering pain or worse. If you truly gently caress up, you might bring down God's wrath on the entire region.

Adjuration is the holy power to summon and banish supernatural beings, as well as dispelling their abilities and compelling their cooperation. Adjuration calls on the power of God to assert God's authority over all things, and is also used to witness oaths and force supernatural beings to obey God's authority.
Adjuration by Invocation focuses on compelling creatures to act or use their powers. It can bind a creature to a contract, compel them to manifest, compel even demons to answer questions truthfully, compel supernatural beings to obey you, or even command and compel animals or humans at the greatest levels.
Adjuration by Purity creates holy bonds and protects against supernatural influence. It can dispel magical powers and ward against supernatural beings, create holy connections, drive off supernatural creatures or scry on supernatural creatures.

Blessing is the power to aid and protect from harm. Typically it is not subtle, and it can warp people.
Blessing by Invocation draws on supernatural aid to grant capabilities and otherworldly power. It can give magic resistance, bless actions, enchant tools, temper a Divine aura to encourage virtue or grant the power to inspire others with words.
Blessing by Meditation inspires and nurtures, healing and strengthening. It can help heal wounds over time, help resist aging, cause powerful emotion, strengthen or weaken personality traits or even transfer Confidence.

Cursing is the power to ruin God's foes and destroy their works. These are Old Testament curses, great and terrible.
Cursing by Invocation brings God's disfavor, bringing adversity and removing protections. It can strip supernatural might, increase botches, curse actions or make aging worse.
Cursing by Purity causes immediate harm, pain and ruin, banishing the essence of the offender. It destroys objects, weakens the body, destroys plants, harms people and animals, causes fatigue, weakens the mind, destroys the senses, inflicts disease and can even kill at the highest levels. One of the sample miracles is near impossible to use - it's level eighty-five, nearly no one has that much power - but will literally destroy an entire town.

Intervention causes inspiring or frightening changes in nature. Typically, it is used to frighten those who would harm God's places or grant holy information. Also, unexplained phenomena and miraculous events tend to fall under this. Intervention is God's direct will on the world, and it's always rather uncontrolled.
Intervention by Meditation is used to see the truth. It can detect active magic, perceive regiones, sense evil, create illusions, translate languages (spoken or written), harry sinners with terrifying images or cause a sign of God's will to manifest.
Intervention by Purity is transformative, changing and perfecting the body to God's will. It can prevent decay, transform materials, mend objects, transform living beings, heal people, create portals to Purgatory, create Divine regiones, or, at the highest levels, return the dead to life.

Transcendence causes spiritual transformations, which may also bring about physical change. It escapes the boundaries of the world to become closer to God.
Transcendence by Meditation transcends the body, leaving the physical shell behind in some way. It can make you untargetable by magic, allow you to see clearly through materials, project your senses to other places, walk on water, ignore pain and fatigue, survive without food, water or air, read minds, levitate, use telepathic communication, walk through solid matter, heal minds, become immune to physical damage or even teleport.
Transcendence by Purity strengthens the body and spirit with the spirit of God. It can resist damage, slow aging, restore fatigue, remove the need for rest, purge poison and disease and resolve aging crises.

Understanding seeks hidden information, even about the future or the Divine Will. It is often hard to understand or misleading, for the mortal mind was not meant to comprehend God.
Understanding by Meditation is the only method that works. It can prevent botches, enhance memory, grant helpful visions, predict the future and learn if an action is God's Will.

Wonders are grand miracles of God, summoning the power of natural forces. They are controlled, but God may cause them to manifest in unanticipated ways.
Wonders by Invocation is the only method that works. It can create dangerous substances, create natural substances that harm non-Divine supernatural beings, create plants, cause plants to mature, create and control a force of nature such as wind or fire, create nonliving objects, create living animals or even magical animals.

Now, let's talk about True Faith. True Faith cannot be possessed by those who worship the Devil or pagan gods - only those who venerate the Divine, though some pagans have had True Faith due to beliefs that venerated a single, infinite and universal Creator. For example, Plato, Aristotle, Apollonius and Plotinus all had True Faith. Animals, lacking reason, cannot possess True Faith; they can, however, be sainted - check out Saint Guinefort the Greyhound. (He was never officially recognized by the Church, but a Catholic sect in France venerated him until the 1930s.) Anyone who dies while possessing True Faith will become a saint in Heaven, even if the Church fails to recognize them. True Faith is the blessing and love of God, for those with it have His constant attention and rather reliably get their prayers answered. It is metaphysically different from normal piety and faith.

Hermetic magi know that True Faith is a power they don't all have, and that as its power rises, God grants more abilities. Among the most educated Hermetic theologians, there is much argument over whether vera fides, as they call it, is a purer form of the Gift, a True Gift. Before the Schism War, a group of magi attempted an experiment to learn the source and nature of vera fides, but it had to be abandoned. The Order understands that it is Divine, and the argument is that True Faith is the Platonic ideal of the Gift, what the Gift aspires to be. Some Hermetics may possess True Faith, which does not interfere with the Gift.

Those who possess True Faith may pray for a miracle, even if they lack the skills to call on miracles themselves. If they succesfully pray for a miracle, God Himself will cause it to happen. A miracle caused directly by God cannot be resisted by any means, has infinite penetration, and may never be undone, altered or even targeted by magic or lesser miracles. (God does not work against Himself.) It's easier to get God to help you if you don't need the help immediately, and if your need is great.

As the power of True Faith increases, it unlocks other abilities. At True Faith 2, you unlock Devotion, the perception and truth of the Divine. You receive premonitions of danger and may dispel illusions and glamours. At True Faith 3, you unlock Hope, unshakable confidence in the Divine. This makes your faith more potent when it helps you, and doubles any magic resistance you have against magic targeting your mind. At True Faith 5. you unlock Charity, the replacing of all urges with the urge to love God, making you inimical to sin. Your face glows with a candle's brightness, visible in dim light or darkness, and you create a Divine aura around yourself merely by being present, which extends as far as your voice can be heard.

Next time: Holy magi, holy societates.

Quinn2win
Nov 9, 2011

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




Ryuutama, Spring Part 4: Equipment



So, there are a fuckton of things available for purchase. I'm not going to bother outlining all of them.

Every item has a Size rating of 1, 3, or 5. 1 is something you can comfortably hold in the palm of your hand, 3 is something you can hold in one hand, 5 is something you can hold in both hands. Without proper preparations, a character's maximum carrying capacity is Strength+3 - 11 for the strongest of starting adventurers. However, it goes up by 1 each level, is higher for Technique Types, and you can use some of that space for containers with more capacity. If you exceed your carrying capacity, you suffer a -1 penalty to all checks per point over the limit you are. Equipped items don't count towards your limit.

Items are not indestructible! Each item has a Durability rating equal to its Size. Every time you fumble when using an item, it loses 1 durability. Wen it reaches 0, the item cannot be used until it's repaired, either in a town for by the party Crafter. Broken items cannot be sold (non-broken items sell at half price).

At level 1, a lot of things are very hard to afford. In the late game, they'll be trivial. In order to accommodate both of these, though, prices are not fixed! You can attach modifiers to items to change what they're like - usually in ways with a minimum of actual mechanical impact - that increase or decrease the item price. They are:

Cute: The item has a cute style. x2 price.
Beautiful: The item looks beautiful. x2 price.
Sturdy: The item has double durability. x3 price.
Masterwork: +1 to accuracy (weapons) or defense (armor). x5 price.
Old: The item is well-used, and has 1 less durability. x0.8 price.
Gross: The item is unpleasant to behold. x0.8 price.
Tacky: The item is wildly out of fashion. x0.8 price.
Smelly: The item has a strange and unpleasant scent. x0.7 price.
Cursed: While carrying this item, -1 to all Condition CChecks. x0.5 price.
Broken: Durability starts at zero. x0.5 price.
Mythril: Armor Penalty -1, Size -2, Durability 5. x10 Price.
Orihalcon: Unbreakable, Max HP and MP +2 while wielding it. x50 Price.
Walking: The item will walk along behind the owner without needing to be carried. +5000G price.
Shining: The item emits magical light. +1200G price.
Talking: It can talk, although the book is silent on the subject of what it has to say. +2000G price.
Plus One: +1 to damage or defense. +8000G price.

The thing I love about this table is how it takes a practical concern (I don't have enough money to buy a normal set of armor, so I'll give it Old/Tacky) and turns it into a fun roleplaying point (I inherited my grandfather's lovely armor and it looks ridiculous but I have sentimental attachments to it, shut up). Also, it gives people something to do with money once they start getting a whole lot of it, beyond just getting more powerful magic weapons.

From here, we go into the actual poo poo You Can Buy list! Starting with services.

Prices are given for meals, which range from Terrible (1G) to Royal Feast (1500G). Terrible food gives a -1 penalty to the next day's Condition Check, Delicious +1, Royal Feast +3. Similarly, there are a variety of room & board options ranging from 5G to 1200G, but the worst (stables) is a bit of a weird quick. If you sleep in the stables, you roll twice for Condition and take the lower result. The result of this is that sleeping outdoors in the wilderness is actually better for you than sleeping in the stables.

Other services offered include laundry, post, item repairs (20% of the original item price), weather predictions, libraries, fortune telling... most of it has little to no actual mechanical impact, but it's the kind of things you might want when you're out on a journey. There are also rules for luxury goods of various sizes, which do nothing but make you feel important.

Following is the list of weapons and armor! Sure, I'll actually list these ones out.

Short Blade: 400G, Size 1, Accuracy roll AGI+WIS+1, damage roll WIS-1.
Sword: 700G, Size 3, Accuracy roll STR+AGI, damage roll STR.
Spear: 350G, Size 3, Acuracy roll STR+AGI, damage roll STR+1, two-handed.
Axe: 500G, Size 3, Accuracy Roll STR+STR-1, damage roll STR, two-handed.
Bow: 750G, Size 3, Accuracy roll WIS+AGI-2, damage roll AGI, two-handed, ranged.

Traveler's Clothes: 50G, Size 3, defense 0.
Light Armor: 900G, Size 3, defense 1.
Medium Armor: 2000G, Size 5, defense 2, -1 penalty to Travel and Initiative Checks.
Heavy Armor: 10000G, Size 5, defense 3, -3 penalty to Travel and Initiative Checks.

Light Shield: 400G, Size 3, guard 7.
Heavy Shield: 1200G, Size 3, guard 9, -1 penalty to Travel and Initiative Checks.

I'll get more into what those numbers mean once I get to the Combat chapter. Note, though, the prices - starting characters definitely won't have armor, and might not have weapons, either.

Following the weapons and armor (that's seriously it), we get to the list of travel gear. Different kinds of gear give bonuses in different terrains or weather - for instance, galoshes give a bonus to travel checks in rain or typhoon weather, and a heavy mantle gives a bonus to travel checks in extreme cold.

There are six kinds of boots, six kinds of mantles, three kinds of walking sticks, four kinds of hats, goggles, and generic accessories. Dress for what you expect to encounter.

Animals! Pack animals and riding animals are both available:

Riding Beast: 900G. +1 bonus to travel checks in LV2 or lower terrain(grass, priarie, hills, rocky).
Great Riding Beast: 3800G. Same, but up to four people can ride it.
Pack Animal: 500G, can carry 15 Size worth of equipment.
Great Pack Animal: 2000G, can carry 30 Size worth of equipment.
Pet: 300G, pet. Dog, cat, rabbit, bird, turtle, etc.

Each character can own a single animal (or three for merchants or farmers), and just like items, they have a set of modifiers:

Hardy: Gives its riding bonus in up to LV4 terrain. x2 price.
Smart: Can learn a variety of commands. x3 price.
Surly: Often ignores the owner's wishes. x0.7 price.
Noisy: Endlessly making a huge, annoying racket. x0.7 price.
Baby: Won't be usable for another six months. x0.3 price.
Devoted: Will never abandon its master. +1000G price.
Traveler: +1 bonus to Travel Checks in all terrain types. +5000G price.

Rounding off the list of general equipment is Camping Gear, an enormous list. Food, booze, animal feed (they need it in deserts or high mountains), writing materials, soap, umbrellas, cooking sets, rope, three kinds of tents, instant bath stones... I'm not going to even try and cover this part.

All this is a lot to carry, so it's a good thing there are containers!

Waterskin: 30G, Size 1. Carries 1 day's supply of water for 1 person.
Magic Bottle: 2000G, Size 1. Carries and magically regulates the temperature of water. +1 to Travel Checks in extreme hot and cold temperatures.
Sack: 10G, Size 1. Carries up to 3 Size worth of items.
Belt Pouch: 30G, Size 1. Carries up to 2 Size worth of items, can only have one.
Herb Bottle: 100G, Size 3. Carries up to 10 doses of Healing Herbs. The herbs remain good for 7 days.
Barrel: 10G, Size 5. Carries 10 Size worth of items, or 15 days’ worth of water.
Backpack: 20G, Size 3. Carries 5 Size worth of items. A must-have for any serious traveler.
Heavy Backpack: 40G, Size 3. Carries 10 Size worth of items. For serious travelers.
Wooden Box: 10G, Size 5. Carries 15 Size worth of items, but gives you a -1 penalty to Travel Checks if you carry it. Good for pack animals.

But wait! You cry. What was that about Healing Herbs?

Okay, you probably didn't say that, but it's a good way to segue into the last set of items! Healing Herbs are the tools of the Healer class. They can find them by searching in the wilderness, or the lower-level ones can be bought in towns.

Any healing herb can be used by a healer, together with a day's water, to heal some HP. In addition each species has its own special applications. Some examples:

Crown Morning Glory: Found in prairies. Ensures sound sleep over the night, automatically setting your Condition the next morning to a healthy 6.
Moonflower Liverwort: Found in forests. For the rest of the day, Concentration only costs 1 MP, but can only be used once per action.
Black Temple Melon: Found in deserts. The next spell you cast that has a range of "Nearby Area" is increased to a range of "All Areas" instead.

And that about wraps it up for buyable stuff. Next: Magic.

JohnOfOrdo3
Nov 7, 2011

My other car is an asteroid


That is a snazzy item system and I wish things like that were a bit more prolific, then again, if they were then it wouldn't seem nearly as interesting. A set of Grandpa's old gross tacky Light Armour is nearly half the price of a brand new set. Coming in at 461 gold

Bit of a shame the old goat charged you for it but I doubt they have pensions in Ryuutama land.

sexpig by night
Sep 8, 2011
I AM A BIG FAT STUPID FUCKER WHO SHOULD STAY THE FUCK OUT OF CSPAM

Someone get on the Kickstarter train and get the rights to translate this, I'm positive it'll go as well as Golden Sun Stories did.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Ars Magica 5th Edition: Realms of Power: The Divine

A truly faithful and devout magus may seek to purge his magic of idolatrous influence, converting it to holy magic. It's hard, and you have to relearn a lot of things from Hermetic theory. It is not necessarily miraculous, but suffused with love and respect for God. It is magic still, and does not draw on Divine nature or Divine Will. It's hard to learn - a holy magus must be meaningfully touched by Divinity, in some form. This allows them to learn Holy Magic theory, how to use magic in harmony with the Divine. Holy magic has a poor reputation among the Order, so there are few teachers. Holy magi must reinvent every spell they know, and their ability to learn from normal Hermetic sources is hobbled. Likewise, they cannot easily teach non-holy magi. As a result, they're usually seen as hedge wizards.

Holy magi cannot use the standard gestures and words of the Order, for they are derived from pagan rites. They must learn to call on magic with silent and subtle prayers. They learn to replace Hermetic ceremonies with prayer and worship, utilizing holy Methods in their rituals. However, they must never use magic to sin, ever. If they knowingly break a commandment or commit evil with their magic, it simply ceases to function. They may still use standard Hermetic magic for such things, but most give up that magic entirely as sinful. Still, it's not unusual for a holy magus to regress and use Hermetic magic normally. The temptation to do so is strong. If they do so often, or commit tins, their holy magic may cease to work until they atone by pilgrimage and shows of faith. Holy magic is also a beacon for evil spirits, who wish to corrupt or destroy the holy magus. Some faeries also are bothered by holy magic, but not all. Hermetics tend to find the implication that they are idolatrous and pagan rather insulting, and most also see holy magic as requiring too many sacrifices to be a comparable power. Holy magi tend to be reclusive to avoid pissing them off.

So why would you ever learn holy magic? Well, it's attuned to Divine auras, and so it is not weakened in them. Further, it unlocks miracles for casting as well as normal spells. And it allows you to substitute your own fatigue for vis, locking away your strength for a time to avoid having to use vis. Plus, you get access to new ranges, durations and targets, largely derived from your faith and the act of prayer.

Some groups within the Order, the Holy Societates, help teach Holy Magic. The first of these are the Sol Invictus, originally a Roman cult who decided to worship one God, the immortal Creator, in the form of the sun-god Sol, or as they called Him, Deus Sol Invictus, the Unconquered Sun. Despite being Divine monotheism, they retained Roman cult practices, quietly gaining power and influence until the early 3rd century AD, when Emperor Elagabulus declared it the State religion. As other priests began to integrate their rites, they lose their focus and drifted away from monotheism, losing their mystic power. That might have been the end had not some of them continued to practice in secret the idea of the One Roman God. In 270, the son of a Sol priestess became Emperor Aurelian, unifying the empire by declaring Deus Sol Invictus the official deity of the state. However, instead of worshipping him as head of the pantheon, Aurelian declared that he was the sum of attributes of all gods, and thus to be worshipped alone. His successor, Constantine, was a great supporter of the Sol cult until he converted to Christianity and changed the Empire's religion to the Holy Church. Other cults faltered, but the Sol Invictus did not, and remained an influence in the east. When the Crusaders took the city of Emesa in 1110, a group of Sol cultists there took pilgrimage to Rome, where they revived their practices in ancient temples, converting them to churches. They still call themselves Invicti, but really, they have only a few differences from Christianity. First, they hold that God is the sun, and Christ His earthly manifestation. They perform ritual sacrifice as a penance, sacrificing animals that represent idolatry. Unlike the Church, they accept that the old gods existed and still exist, but believe them to be mortal. They seek to undermine, imprison and destroy those pagan gods which seek worship. In the 800s, the Order of Hermes found the Invicti, and several joined House Jerbiton. They developed holy magic, and by 1220, they have become a society within the Order. They're very unpopular, of course, especially because they regularly molest the fae in the form of pagan gods, so new Invicti mut be discreet and very loyal before they learn the powers of the Invictus. They specialize in Cursing, Invocation, Holy Magic and the use of mass ceremony to generate power.

Now, let's talk about Christianity. In 1220, it is an immensely powerful faith, both temporally and spiritually. Since 1095 and the First Crusade, there has been concerted effort to retake the Holy Land and Jerusalem, but mistakes are constantly made - like the sacking of Constantinople. Four Crusades have been launched, and only the first could be called a success in any real way. Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II has promised a Fifth Crusade, but so far, he hasn't done anything. The Church fears subversion, cracking down on heresy and beginning the Albigensian Crusade. Soon, the Inquisition will be founded by those same fears. The Franciscan and Dominican friars are developing.

The Church has declared that there are seven sacraments: baptism, the Eucharist, penance, confirmation, the taking of holy orders, marriage and extreme unction, also known as the Last Rites. All sacraments grant use of Faith even without possession of True Faith, but only once. Until you use it, you can't get more. Baptism cleanses original sin and other evil influences, drives away possessing spirits and ends any non-permanent supernatural effects not tied to the Divine. However, it only works once - if you've been baptised already, you don't get the benefits listed above. The name given in baptism is protected by the Divine and does not count as a True Name for magical purposes. All other sacraments require baptism. If you break from the Church, you lose all benefits of baptism, though true repentance can renew them. Baptism creates a holy connection between you and your godparents (or, if there are none, the priest).

Confirmation is the receiving of the holy spirit. It grants a Faith point for use, but the benefit is lost if you are excommunicated or leave the Church. You may only take confirmation once in your life. Marriage gives both husband and wife a Faith point, but the benefit is lost if the marriage is annulled or if you sin against your spouse. The marriage blessing also ensures an easy childbirth and healthy offspring if it lasts until the child is born, and it ties the spouses with a holy connection. Penance, the act of confession, places you in a state of grace if you fulfill your penance and grants you Confidence while on the task. Until you complete your penance, you have a holy connection to the confessor, which is broken if the priest ever reveals the substance of your confession to anyone.

The Eucharist is the most holy sacrament, also known as the Mass or the Holy Communion. The priest converts bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, granting a Faith point to anyone who eats of it, so long as they are in a state of grace (defined as 'without mortal sin'). When one is ordained into the holy orders, one receives a FAith point, and this is repeated whenever you rise in rank in the Church. Further, it gives you spiritual authority over whatever area you are caretaker for and creates a holy connection to the bishop performing the ceremony. Extreme unction, AKA the Last Rites, cleanses the soul of mortal sin as penance does, placing you in a state of grace. Further, it grants a Faith point as the Eucharist does, and speeds the soul's journey to the afterlife. A person for whom Extreme Unction has been performed cannot be touched by magic for three days, which is usually enough time to bury them on consecrated ground, which immunizes the soul against necromancy and magic.

Incidentally, if a Christian realm is placed under interdict, the Divine aura of the realm weakens over time, as the people suffer the weight of their sins. Very nasty. Also, how hard is it to not sin by magic use for a Christian? Well: if you kill by magic, you owe seven years penance, three of them on bread and water. If you do magic for the sake of love but do not kill, as a layman you do penance for half a year or a priest does it for a year to three years on bread and water. If magic is used to deceive a woman about childbirth in any way, you add six forty-day periods to that to avoid being accused of homicide. Conjuring storms is seven years penance, three on bread and water. Taking auguries is sacrilege and is three years on bread and water. Divination is five years, three on bread and water. Going in the guise of a stag or calf in the Kalends of January is three years penance. Drawing lots for divination is three years on bread and water. Making vows anywhere besides a church is three years on bread and water. Taking away the mind of a man is five years, one on bread and water. Making amulets and possibly all magic items is three years, one on bread and water. Eating in pagan locations is two years, or forty days if by accident. Sacrifice in pagan worship is three years. And yeah, that makes it pretty hard to be Hermetic and not sin. It's a real challenge. This in addition to normal sins anyone can do.

The Eastern or Orthodox Church is highly ceremonial, unlike the Western Church, with greater focus on mystery and miracle. Monasticism is very popular in the East, and the Orthodox Church has remained stable for centuries, barring the Iconoclastic Controversy of the 700s to 800s, when several works of religious art were burned as idols. The major theological differences between Eastern and Western Churches are outside the scope of the review and are largely detail-oriented, though extremely important to the people involved in the disputes.

Saints, now, saints are a thing. You can ask a saint for a miracle! It's harder if you're not asking your patron saint, haven't been donating and have done unchristian acts lately, or if you've gotten a miracle lately. If the saint fails to aid you, however, it is common practice to threaten the saint into compliance, for saints are temperamental. Even monks overseeing the saint's relics would do this. It is made easier if you defile relics, berate the saint or bar others from worship. However, if you gently caress up, the saint may well curse you.

Now, character options and holy traditions! The Cantores are a largely Christian tradition of worship through music. They practice Holy Music, a method identical to Meditation in use but relying on devotional song. Their music is beautiful and holy, and the Cantores tend to oppose common music, seeing the bawdy and raucous music of entertainers as sacrilegious, using God's gift of music in the wrong way and perhaps even calling on Infernal power. They specialize in Blessing, Holy Music, Intervention and the sensing of holy and unholy power.

The Priory of Saint Nerius follow the path of Nerius, a Criamon magus whom many believe became a saint, though he is not officially canonized. He is, however, the unofficial patron saint of the Order of Hermes. Many tales tell of his prowess in predicting danger and his unorthodox faith, as well as his thoughts on the morality of magic and how to align it with God. The Neriusians seek to convince the Pope to canonize Nerius, while also keeping their Hermetic nature secret and avoiding persecution for their unorthodox beliefs. They hold that magical beasts and fairies should be tolerated and possess souls and that the Garden of Eden is Arcadia. They are a Benedictine order with modifications for Hermetic study, and have recently begun adapting to Franciscan ideals. So yeah, monk wizards. They practice Holy Magic, Intervention, Purity and the sensing of danger.

And, of course, we have a new breed of Mythic Companion: the Perfecti. The Perfecti are the leaders of the Cathar movement of France. They are Christian, but follow a dualist doctrine contrary to the Church's practices. They hold that the physical world is by nature evil, while the immaterial, spiritual world is of God and naturally good. They deny that Christ physically incarnated and condemn marriage as an institution. They maintain physical purity by strict denial of all sexual desire and vegetarian diet. All Perfecti are hunted by the Church, but possess powers of Purity, Transcendence and second sight.

Next time: The Ars Notoria

Amechra
Sep 9, 2012


I love how all the old WW stuff is connected.

Hi Mr. Unconquered Sun, fancy seeing you here!

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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Amechra posted:

I love how all the old WW stuff is connected.

Hi Mr. Unconquered Sun, fancy seeing you here!

Ars Magica hasn't been White Wolf in forever.

Deus Sol Invictus was a real Roman thing.

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




Rulebook Heavily posted:

When the devs claimed the game was a fusion of Lovecraft and Anime, they helpfully failed to specify what kind of Anime. And now we know.

They actually list Legend of the Overfiend in the inspirations section of the core book.

Cthulhutech should not be about humanity's darkest hour- it should be about humanity's transformation. Read the Shadow out of Time, according to Lovecraft we've got millenia left. An alliance with the Deep Ones, government support of magicians and insane science, all of this should be part of us joining the same "community" as the Mi-Go, Yithians, and Elder Things, or re-joining it depending on how you want to view it. It's the end of an age of innocence, but it's not The End.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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Ars Magica 5th Edition: Realms of Power: The Divine

As everyone knows, Solomon was the finest of the ancient wizards, granted knowledge and power on top of his own skills by God. The most ardent student of Solomonic magic, Apollonius, recored the exact procedures used to gain this Divine knowledge into the Ars Notoria, the Notary Arts. They mix magical recitations and geometry with devotional prayer. The individual formulas are notae, the prayers orations and the combination of the two into magic is called a ring, or level of wisdom. The rings grant divine skill in academics and virtue. Copies of Apollonius' texts can be found, though some call them witchcraft. The truth is that they are a Divine art, aimed for lofty goals of scholarship, so the Church holds that their use is not considered to be anything but God's will. They are a wholly Christian tradition, available only to Christians; Solomon was a Jew and is honored by Islam, but Apollonius firmly linked the Ars Notoria to Christian prayers and beliefs, specifically asking for the Christian God to grant its powers.

The Book of Solomon and Keys of Solomon are rare, and they are what you need to study the Ars Notoria. It is said that copies exist in the University of Paris, the Jewish ghetto in Jerusalem and in the library of the Bishop of Armagh in Ireland. Studying the texts is not easy, however - they are written in four languages: Latin, Greek, Hebrew and Chaldean, an ancient Aramaic tongue. You need to understand all four, and they all use different alphabets. You can't translate the orations - the mix of languages is key to the magic. To properly use the Ars Notoria, you must have the Gift, understanding the true meaning of the text through it, though you need not be a Hermetic magus.

Each Ring of Solomon requires a full season to recite, including the meditations needed and the days of rest required after the recitations...at least the first time you go through them. Later recitations are easier. You must learn them in order and recite them in order until you have successfully managed all the orations for a ring. Given the time it takes, you will usually lose the benefits of a ring before finishing the next. That's fine, you can keep going. You can also go back and re-recite any ring you've already completed without problems.

The First Ring of Solomon must be performed in Spring or Autumn. It grants complete knowledge of philosophy and science, as well as extreme skill with communication, rhetoric and eloquence, both of which will wear off after a few seasons, depending on how powerful your recitation was. (This is true of the effects of all Rings.) The Second Ring of Solomon bestows extreme theological skill and knowledge, as well as Divinely enhanced intellect. It must be recited in Winter. The Third Ring of Solomon bestows knowledge of medicine and the curing of disease, as well as magical power to cure a chosen disease with a touch. This ring can be done in any season. The Fourth Ring of Solomon summons a lesser angel as a guide and mentor, which may teach you secrets of theology, law, the artes liberales, philosophy and medicine. Even after the Ring's duration ends, that angel is your personal angel and will always be the one to appear to you. If it ever believes you to be acting impiously or against God's will, it will abandon you prematurely. Further, it may cancel the effects of any Ring, and will do so if it thinks that will help guide you back to righteous action. The Fifth Ring of Solomon grants the power to sense holy and unholy might, as well as tell what realm it comes from. It can even give you insight into the abilities of those creatures you sense. Demons cannot hide their nature from this Ring, and it must be performed in Summer. The Sixth Ring of Solomon must be done in Spring, and it grants the power to see the future by peering into the Divine Plan. It grants knowledge of whether actions are appropriate in God's eyes more than it does the true future, but it can still look into the future. The Seventh Ring of Solomon is the final Ring, and what it does is not grant new knowledge, but perfect understanding of all knowledge you already have. You can't botch while this Ring is in effect, ever. However, your patron angel will carefully watch you and will strip of your powers if you succumb to the cardinal sin of Pride.

Besides the Rings, learning the Ars Notoria lessens the effects of the Divine aura on your magic, which can erase any penalty completely if you learn enough. Further, while a Ring of Solomon is active, you are immune to Divine warping.

Now, let's talk about Islam. Islamic theology as a whole is quite different from Christian theology; however, some things are similar. Monotheism, for one, and a belief in the eventual resurrection of the dead. The Sunni are the dominant sect of Islam, and Sunni doctrine holds that though God has preordained all things, humans still possess free will - God gives the power to act, but it is people who choose to act and are responsible for their actions. The veneration of saints is not officially condoned; there is no expectation of saintly intercession by respected holy spirits. However, there is a practice of visiting the tombs of the holy to gain baraka, a blessing. Muslims may invoke baraka in the same way that Christians can invoke saints, but with limitations. You must be at a shrine dedicated to the holy figure you're invoking baraka from. You may invoke the power of the Qur'an anywhere. Muslims may never threaten the forebears; it would be blasphemy. (Muslim invocation of the khawass al-Qur'an, or the mystic power of the Qur'an, is quite potent, though the miracles the Qur'an can grant are rather limited.)

Islamic law is based on the Qur'an, and is referred to as al-sharia. It has a few other sources, but the Qur'an is the first and foremost. After that, the Sunna are considered - the collection of hadiths, or narratives of the Prophet on how to be a good Muslim. Third is the Ijma', legal debates settled by the Islamic legal community. Last are the qiyas, precedents from parallel cases. The Islamic prohibition of alcohol is based on qiyas - the Qur'an forbids wine for its intoxicating properties, so logically all other alcohol should be forbidden by this precedent. Magic is permitted under Islamic law if used for good purposes, so what you really need to worry about as a Muslim wizard is to not use your magic for evil or to break any normal sharia law. (The punishment for evil magic, by the way, is beheading.)

Naturally all good Muslims, wizard or no, must uphold the Pillars, which briefly summarized are: shahada, the declaration of faith, which causes momentary discomfort to Infernal beings, as a note. Salat, prayer at dawn, midday, mid-afternoon, sunset and evening. This requires entering a state of ritual purity via either immersion in water or lesser washing of the face, hands, feet and head, depending on impurity. Islamic prayer strengthens the Dominion in areas where it is done for the duration of the prayer. Zakat, charity, requires between 2.5 and 10 percent of your wealth to be given to the poor or other causes, and Infernal beings may not handle money or goods given as payment of zakat, suffering excruciating pain if they try. This lasts only until another person touches the money or goods. Sawm, the Ramadan fast, increases Muslim Dominion auras during Ramadan (and other Islamic holidays). Last, hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in your life. You must be pure throughout the hajj, and any hajjaj becomes a pious Muslim, touched by the will of God, though it can degrade later.

Variations on Islam include the Sufi mystics, who are the closest the religion has to a monastic tradition. They tend to be seen as potential sources of heresy but also very pious and devoted, and authorities have started to encourage the sufis. Very pious sufis are known as zahids, able to work miracles. There are also a number of Shi'i sects, who did not believe the CAliphate should be hereditary, or at least not in the manner it became. They have slightly different theology and legal practice and tend to reject the legal debate of ijma'. The Shi'i most likely to show up in a game are the Ithna'ashari Shi'is, the most numerous sect, who recognize a line of twelve imams, the Fatimids, who split from the Ithan'ashari in the 700s and followed the imam Isma'il. The Fatimids ruled Egypt and North Africa until 1171, claimed the title of imam and focused on inner truth and the cycle of history. They were surprisingly tolerant of Sunni Islam and didn't seek to convert their subjects. It is possible that some Fatimid imams have survived. Finally, the Assassins (which is a word derived from the derogatory hashishi, users of hashish), a term that refers to the Nizari sect of Hasan-i Sabbah. Much of what is known of the Nizaris was written by their foes, but they are said to be trained as fanatics from youth, and drugged to prepare the mind for Paradise as well as sent out to murder. Saladin is said to have besieged Sinan, a fortress of the Nizari, but withdrew after they left a poisoned dagger in his tent. The descendants of the fourth MAster of the Nizaris, Hasan, claim to be descended from the legendary Nizar and thus true imams.

The Almohads of Spain are neither Sunni nor Shi'i, incorporating ideas of both and other schools. They promote transcendence and oneness with God, and refuse to refer to God in anthropomorphic terms save as metaphor. The Almohads claim to be the rightful caliphs of the entire Muslim world due to a declaration in 1121 by their founder, Ibn Tumart, who claimed to be the mahdi, the final prophet. The Almohads tend to leave justice in the hands of their Sunni subjects, and like the Fatimids, the Almohad faith is largely one of the rulers, not the subjects.

Now, character options! Muslims receive slightly different effects from a few things, largely education backgrounds, We also get some new traditions! The Sufis practice group meditation and poetry in order to achieve closeness with God. They share their rituals with anyone who comes to take part, but the true benefits are hard to grasp for non-Sufis. They specialize in Meditation, Understanding, Transcendence and mass ceremonies.

The Zoroastrians have a sect of holy wizard-priests, called the Magoi. Magoi must fight against evil and the forces of the Angra Mainyu, or Destructive Spirit. We'll talk more about Zoroastrianism and the Magoi in Cradle and Crescent, but these guys may be the ancestors of Hermetic magic, and the word 'Magu', the singular of Magoi, is probably where 'magus' comes from. Some Zoroastrian refugees made it to Europe and joined the Order of Hermes, continuing their tradition of magoi in House Flambeau, integrating their holy magic with Hermetic theory. They are mystery cult within the House, focusing on Holy Magic, Wonders, Invocation and the sensing of holy and unholy power.

And last, a new Mythic Companion: The Zahids, exceptionally ascetic sufis. Many are shaykhs, the leaders of Sufi tariqas (read: monasteries, basically), but not exclusively. Zahids are so pious that they can do miracles, and are often able to grant their followers miraculous power, too. All zahids are skilled in Meditation, Understanding and the use of second sight.

Next time: The Jews.

pospysyl
Nov 10, 2012

SO EMBARRASSING



Kavak posted:

They actually list Legend of the Overfiend in the inspirations section of the core book.

Cthulhutech should not be about humanity's darkest hour- it should be about humanity's transformation. Read the Shadow out of Time, according to Lovecraft we've got millenia left. An alliance with the Deep Ones, government support of magicians and insane science, all of this should be part of us joining the same "community" as the Mi-Go, Yithians, and Elder Things, or re-joining it depending on how you want to view it. It's the end of an age of innocence, but it's not The End.

But that would draw inspiration from mecha anime, which would just be disrespectful to Lovecraft's legacy.

Amechra
Sep 9, 2012


I now am filled with the urge to sit down and write a proper cthulhu-mecha rpg.

It would probably be a splat book for Mecha RPG.

InfiniteJesters
Jan 26, 2012


Give me Attack on Titan with Battlemechs and then we'll talk.

Erebro
Apr 28, 2013


Amechra posted:

I now am filled with the urge to sit down and write a proper cthulhu-mecha rpg.

It would probably be a splat book for Mecha RPG.

See: my posts.

We already have the setting (Eldritch Skies with tech and power level dialed up), we just need the rules.

You could also do worse than Demonbane, which is an actual Visual Novel set in a mecha vs Cthulhu Mythos verse. One where the Japanese version has eroge elements, but it's fairly tame (ie, consensual sex with your love interest of choice) and there's versions (such as the OVA and the English version) around without the hentai scenes, with nothing lost to the plot. It's definitely more faithful to the source than CTech is.

This is also a universe where the Necromicon is actually a cute girl Al-Azif made in his lab, and where the last battle in the good ending is you kicking Nyarlathotep's rear end into the next millennium (seriously, that's how long it takes for him to construct another avatar) for the right to ascend as an Elder God. Think about what that says about CTech for a second.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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Ars Magica 5th Edition: Realms of Power: The Divine

Jews have it rough in Christendom. They are oppressed, second-class citizens, and they know it. They are forbidden to perform any job not expressly forbidden to Christians (such as moneylending at interest) or those not subject to Guild laws (such as inter-city or wholesale trading). Jews may worship if discreet, but may not marry Christians, and conversion to Judaism is a crime. Often a hanging crime. Many Christians and Jews have individual friendships, but the religion as a whole is mistrusted. Many Christians believe Jews responsible for the death of Christ, and so capable of any evil. The Jews are stoic, however, for they know that they are God's chosen, and if they persevere, Heaven awaits.

There are two major branches of Judaism: the Church-influenced Ashkenazim, who dwell in France and Germany primarily, and trace their origins to Italy and Palestine, and the Arab-influenced Sephardim, who hail from Babylon and dwell in Muslim Spain primarily. The Sephardim admire Arab culture and have adapted to Muslim ideals of art and scholarship. They frequently serve in government positions in Andalusian realms and have much social and intellectual pull. They speak Arabic, are often masters of the textual Torah and skilled poets of Hebrew with Arabic meter. Sephardic philosophers take from many places, and they have extended Jewish culture to new horizons of science and philosophy. Their religious leaders are often courtiers to the caliphs of Spain and researchers into new ideas. Some of the Sephardic Jews are considered the finest minds of the time, such as the famous Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, or Maimonides, who wrote the only comprehensive treatment of Jewish law known in 1220, the Mishneh Torah. However, the invasion of the Almohads in 1147 and 1148 wiped out many of the Andalusian Jewish communities, driving thousands to northern Spain, Provence, North Africa and Egypt.

The Ashkenazim did not integrate Christian thought into their lives as the Sephardim did Muslim thought. In fact, most Ashkenazi scholars have only thinly-veiled contempt for most Christian theologians, whom they see as simple. They draw their values from the Talmud, the great commentary on the Jewish oral traditions, and the Midrash, moralistic tales of Biblical days. The Ashekenazim are largely merchants, and follow their own laws, as Christian society was closed to them. With the Arab conquest and the rise of the Carolingians, merchants and rabbis of the Ashkenazim have moved to France and Germany from Italy, bringing new energy to the Jews in those areas. The Jews that survived the violence in the Rhineland after the First Crusade focused on regaining their culture, and by 1150, they had native literature of all kinds. Their study of Judaic texts focused on mysticism, and the fathers of the modern Ashkenazi are remembered as initiates into the Divine mysteries. German Jewish mystics, called Chasidim, have focused on the ascetic, the martyr and the penitent as Jewish ideals, adapting these ideas to the Jewish idiom. Rabbis gather in synods to discuss legislation on problems for which neither Torah nor Talmud are directly applicable. Most notably, laws on the protection of women, especially economically, and severe discipline against those who chose Christian courts over Jewish law. Provence is also a breeding ground for new JEwish mystics, though some of their ideas are criticized as heretical by orthodox rabbis...but their rituals are very orthodox, and they accept the Torah as divine text, so that helps. In time, they will become part of the rabbinical elite.

As a note: Being a Jew in England really sucks, they are incredibly oppressed and will soon be the targets of a paranoid mania. In France, the Jews have had a heard time under the royals, and many have left for Provence, Iberia or Germany. The German Jews are doing quite well for themselves, and most cities have a Jewish quarter. Jews are respected in academia in Germany. Oh, and one thing: there is, currently, a Jewish kingdom in the Caucasus mountains. You see, the Khazars, a Turkish people, met with Byzantine and Persian Jewish refugees in the 700s or so. Many converted, including several major royals, and Khazaria became a buffer state between the Islamic world and Christendom following a series of wars in the late 700s and early 800s. Khazaria is also on a major trade route, and Jewish traders from Persia often pass through it on the way to Europe or China. Under the kings Obadiah and Bulan, rabbinic Judaism flourished, and the attempts of Saint Cyril in 860 to convert them to Christianity failed because they'd become Jews. (The Slavs accepted him better.) King Bulan became a Jew in 861 after holding a grand debate between Christians, Muslims and Jews. Obadiah established synagogues and Rabbinical schools. However, in the late 900s and early 1000s, the Rus conquered much of Khazar land. In 1259, Khazaria will, at last, be destroyed by invasions of Russians and Mongols. The Khazar Jews will spread into Germany and Hungary.

The Jews of Byzantium, especially in Constantinople, have done quite well. The worst law against them is that they may not ride horses, and the Jews of Constantinople are renowned craftsmen and merchants. The Greek citizens, however, occasionally strike against the Jews or defile the Jewish Quarter. Despite this, the Jews are noted by the writer Benjamin of Tudela as wealthy, kind and charitable, despite the anti-Semitic actions of the Greeks. However, in 1204, the sacking of Constantinople in the Fourth Crusade killed or expelled many Jews, scattering them throughout the Byzantine Empire. Jews are legally protected by Byzantine law, but may build no new synagogues nor serve in government. They must read their scripture in Greek or Latin, and Passover must be moved so it falls before Easter.

The Jews of Syria are considered to be of equal status as those in the Holy Land of Israel. Their conditions were greatly improved by the Arab conquest of 656, and many Persian Jews moved to Syria in the 1100s, bringing a boom in commerce, craft and banking. Under the Fatimids, a Jew actually ran Syria, giving Jews many government positions. In modern times, the Syrian Jews are mostly in Damascus, Tyre and Aleppo. Jews are allowed under Muslim rule to live in Jerusalem and build a Jewish Quarter near the Wailing Wall. They stayed there until the First Crusade of 1099, which destroyed almost all of the Jewish communities of Jerusalem, the last of which fell in 1153. Many Jews of Egypt and Syria have resettled in Jerusalem following its conquest by Saladin in 1187.

It is reported that there were over 40 thousand Jews in Baghdad in the late 1100s, with 28 synagogues and 10 Jewish schools. Baghdad is extremely important to modern Jewry, for it is the home of the Exilarch, in theory the spiritual leader of all Jews. He is greatly respected by the Islamic rulers of Baghdad, though his actual authority outside the city is questionable. (He does, at least, hold spiritual authority, even if no one listens to him.)

Judaism has no formal beliefs required to be a Jew - actions are seen as more important than doctrine, and the closest to comprehensive dogma anyone ever got was Maimonides' list of thirteen principles which he considered the minimum of Judaism: God exists. God is one and unique. God is incorporeal. God is eternal. Prayer is to be directed to God alone and no other. The words of the prophets are true. Moses was the greatest prophet. The Written Torah and Oral Torah were given to Moses. There will be no other Torah. God knows the thoughts and deeds of humanity. God will reward the good and punish the wicked. The Messiah will come. The dead will be resurrected. However, within this framework there's a lot of room for personal opinion - Judaism makes very few abstract statements about the universe, except on the nature of God.

Jewish law, or halakhah, is made up of commandments, or mitzvot, laid out in the Torah, instituted by Rabbis or obeyed by long custom. All are equally binding, though penalties for violation vary. The Torah's laws are punished more heavily. At the heart, however, are the 613 mitzvot laid down in the Torah. Some are explict commands ('do not murder') and others are less clear ('eat and be satisfied and bless the Lord your God' has generally been interpreted as saying grace after meals). Some can only be managed by Talmudic logic ('do not boil a kid in its mother's milk' has been inferred to mean generally that milk and meat should not be mixed). Life is valued above all else, and only the prohibitions on murder, idolatry and incest are considered important enough that they cannot be waived if it means saving a life. Jews must never do something that would shorten a life. Death is sad and natural, but not something you go looking for.

Can you be a Jewish magus? Well, that's a hard one. Let's look at all the commandments magi typically violate. LEt's see...#319: do not bow down to an idol, even if that is not how it is worshipped. #322: Do not lead the children of Israel astray into idolatry. #326: Hate those who entice others to idolatry. #332: Do not adopt the ways of idolaters nor their customs. #348: Do not tattoo the body like idolaters. #352: Do not show favor to idolaters. #330: Do not swear by an idol to its worshippers, nor cause them to swear by it. There goes the Hermetic Oath! #335: Do not practice astrology. #336: Do not practice enchantment. #337: Do not consult ghosts. #338: Do not consult wizards. #339: Do not perform magical herbalism. #340: Do not perform sorcery. #341: Do not practice snake charming. #342: Again, no ghosts. #343: No zombies, either. #344: And no wizards, again. So yeah, being a Jewish magus is hard if you plan to be a good Jew. And remember, swearing by a pagan god or idol is the worst possible sin. However, there is a sect of Jews, the Karaites, who believe in strict literal interpretation of the Torah and might be able to manage a Jewish form of Hermetic magic.

As a note, Jewish traditions of Shabbat for a magus allow labwork and study, as it is seen as improving one's self. However, no magic or using magic items on Shabbat, nor fighting, cooking, carrying burdens, lighting fires or craftwork unless it is to save someone from harm. Keeping Shabbat is one of this vital, fundamental parts of Judaism, so don't forget that. Now, character options!

Jews have access to a few unique forms of mysticism and magic. Some jews practice the art of crafting amulets, creating miracles locked within items much as Hermetics can lock spells into items via enchantment. Jews often study Dream Interpretation, as it is commonly believed that dreams are how God communicates. They may use it in place of Meditation, either by dreaming or discussing the dreams of others. Other Jews practice Gematria, a form of numerology using the Torah's text and other books to achieve unity with God. This, too, may be used in place of Meditation, allowing you to use books to boost your magic. Jews also possess the Kabbalah, a variant of Invocation utilizing the Names of God. It is highly personal and draining to use, however, even compared to normal Incantation. The benefit? You can make golems, divine beings brought to life by God. Golems are powerful Divine beings, and while they live, the maker's Confidence is permanently reduced, for it is tied up in the golem. Lastly, Jews practice Merkavah, a holy ritual to make contact with supernatural beings, wherever they are, forming a holy connection by your knowledge of the being. It is a tiring ritual requiring fasting and effort, and takes a full season to complete. However, you will learn the entity's True Name, and may summon it. Merkavah may also be used in place of Purity, though it is, again, very slow and tiring.

The Baal Shem are a tradition of folk healers among the Jews, also known as the Masters of the Name. Their power comes from invoking the names of God, and it is seen as a kind of craftwork more than religious tradition. They often work as amulet crafters as well. They are, in essence, divine hedge wizards and folk magicians, and as a phenomena they are pretty much exclusively Jewish. Their specialty is Adjuration, Blessing, Invocation and the crafting of amulets.

The Kabbalists are a uniquely Jewish tradition as well, and are one of the most flexible holy traditions. They study Kabbalah, Gematria and Merkavah, but as the Tree of Life which they study is a mystical idea tied to all virtue and holiness, drawing on the ten sefirot, or emanations of God and the 22 paths between them, together the tools used by God to create the world, they may choose any three Divine supernatural powers, Methods or Holy Powers as their specialty, one of which must be a method from among Kabbalh, Gematria and Merkavah, and the other two of which can be anything. Adjuration and Blessing are common, as are Dream Interpretation, Understanding or Transcendence. Holy Music has even begun to show up among the German Ashkenazim. Further, the kabbalists have quantified the powers and levels of Faith into the ten sefirot. Many Hermetics who have studied Kabbalah believe there is a link between the sefirot and the ten Forms, but no one is sure quite what, what it would mean or if it would have actual practical use to know.

Side note: the Order as a whole is aware of Kabbalah due to a conflict that broke out in 1018 between some Flambeau magi and Jewish mystics in Barcelona. A truce was negotiated, stating that the Order of Hermes and the Order of Geonim, as the Jews referred to themselves, would not interfere with each other so long as the other side did not. It was the first time the Order ever relaxed their 'join or die' policy. To most kabbalists, 'Order of Geonim' means descent from the mystics of Babylon and applies to all kabbalists, but there are rumors of a secret order of potent kabbalists dedicated to protecting the Jews and punishing their foes. Due to the Barcelona treaty, these Geonim are careful to avoid crossing the Hermetics, focusing instead on mundane threats. No one is sure what would happen if war were to be restarted between the two groups.

The Karaites are a sect of Jews who discard rabbinic interpretation and theology, rejecting the Oral Law and interpreting the commandments only via literal reading of the Tanakh. They claim that the contradictory opinions of the rabbis who wrote the Mishnah and Talmud distort the meaning of the text, and Karaite means 'Follower of the Scripture'. Karaite philosophy has many similarities to Islam, and have many religious differences - for one, they use a different calendar to avoid "observing times", and no holiday lasts more than one day for them. Also, they don't celebrate certain holidays, and allow milk and meat to be mixed if the animals are of different species. Also, they may not marry close relatives or non-Karaites, who are seen as unclean. It started in Persia in the late 900s, and in 1220, relations between normal Jews and Karaites are poor. They live apart, in seperate Jewish communities. Karaites do not seek converts, and continue their religion via their children. Karaites with the Gift may join the Order of Hermes if they practice holy magic, as they hold that the laws against divination and enchantment do not apply to magic that comes directly from God. However, they refuse to allow other magi to cast magic on them, for it is unclean. Karaites are typically found in House Ex Miscellanea. They practice Holy Magic, Purity, Transcendence and the crafting of amulets. Their Hermetic magic is flawed by their belief system - they cannot use longevity rituals without breaking their faith, unless they make it personally or it is made by another karaite. The same is true of healing magic, and they may not use their magic to heal non-karaites. Should they accept any form, magical or mundane, of healing from a non-karaite or break any of their commandments, they lose their magic until they atone.

Oh, right, and a new Mythic Companion: Kabbalists. These Kabbalists are more potent than most, having studied the Kabbalah for years. They are greatly educated and respected among Jews, with a deep understanding of the holy. They tend to practice Adjuration, Blessing, Kabbalah or Merkavah.

The End!

Choose: Choices are: the True Lineage Houses of Hermes and their secrets (Houses of Hermes: True Lineages), Mystery Cults (The Mysteries, Revised Edition), the Mystery Cult Houses (Houses of Hermes: Mystery Cults), more depth on Covenants (Covenants), 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 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).

Pussy Cartel
Jun 26, 2011





Lipstick Apathy

Leliel the 12th posted:

See: my posts.

We already have the setting (Eldritch Skies with tech and power level dialed up), we just need the rules.

You could also do worse than Demonbane, which is an actual Visual Novel set in a mecha vs Cthulhu Mythos verse. One where the Japanese version has eroge elements, but it's fairly tame (ie, consensual sex with your love interest of choice) and there's versions (such as the OVA and the English version) around without the hentai scenes, with nothing lost to the plot. It's definitely more faithful to the source than CTech is.

This is also a universe where the Necromicon is actually a cute girl Al-Azif made in his lab, and where the last battle in the good ending is you kicking Nyarlathotep's rear end into the next millennium (seriously, that's how long it takes for him to construct another avatar) for the right to ascend as an Elder God. Think about what that says about CTech for a second.

It tells me that the guys behind Cthulhutech weren't the only ones to get the brilliant idea anime and hentai go just great with the Lovecraft mythos.

Mors Rattus posted:

Ars Magica 5th Edition: Realms of Power: The Divine

I'm putting my vote in for Ancient Magic.

Erebro
Apr 28, 2013


Pussy Cartel posted:

It tells me that the guys behind Cthulhutech weren't the only ones to get the brilliant idea anime and hentai go just great with the Lovecraft mythos.

...Well, it does that too, but here, the writers were sane had a modicum of something resembling common sense and basic human decency. They realized that the hentai should be completely divorced from the Mythos, and absolutely none of the direct Mythos stuff involves the ecchi stuff at all. As a result, it's a pretty drat good cheesey anime, especially if you're playing the non-eroge version. It may not be the best version, but it's a place to start.

Really, it makes CTech even more sad and despicable. Even the actual mecha anime with eroge elements is better and less skeevy than this game!

EDIT: And for Ars Magica, let's complete the hat trick of supernatural beings and go for the Faeries.

Erebro fucked around with this message at 23:54 on May 12, 2013

AmiYumi
Oct 10, 2005

I Forgot To Hail King Torg


Leliel the 12th posted:

Really, it makes CTech even more sad and despicable. Even the actual mecha anime with eroge elements is better and less skeevy than this game!
You must admit, like 90% of that is thanks to DOCTOR WEST.

ThisIsNoZaku
Apr 22, 2013

Pew Pew Pew!


Leliel the 12th posted:

EDIT: And for Ars Magica, let's complete the hat trick of supernatural beings and go for the Faeries.

Ars Magica is proving even better than I'd imagined, and I already liked it.

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine


Revoting Cradle and Crescent, because we just had a taste of Muslim stuff and Zoroastrian stuff.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012



ChapterPart 2: Classes and Prestige Classes

So after discussion with Lemon we're just going to divvy up the rest of what the core book covers between us, chapter order be damned.


That said I did promise to tell you about this guy, didn't i?


Artificer
The Artificer is the unique class that was created specifically for Eberron, and it's a big part of the culture of the world. If magic is the Technology of Eberron, Artificers are the Engineers. They make the magic items that let the world work, and most of their class features are designed around that. They also have access to spells that temporarily enchant items. Instead of casting Bulls Strength on the fighter, you'd cast it on his gloves. That's not to say that they're simply a buffbot, just look at the picture up there, you can do a whole lot with a bandoleer of wands.



Infusions are an Artificer's spells, they don't count as either arcane or divine, but they are spells and can be interrupted and don't work in situations where spells wouldn't. I already mentioned that they need to be cast on items for them to even function, but they can also be cast directly onto constructs, and there are some spells that only work on constructs and warforged. They're an Int Based caster, but since almost all of their spells are buffs, they don't need to pump it like a wizard, there's something more important for that.

Craft Reserve this is a pool of faux XP that the artificer gets when they level up, they can spend it in lieu of their own XP when they cast spells or make magic items. Unused craft reserve points are supposed to go away when you level up and replaced with the new total, but I've never played with a DM who did that.

Artificer Knowledge Artificers can make a bardic Artificer Knowledge check to see if items are magical

Artisan Bonus Artificers get a bonus to Use magic Device checks to activate items that they could create.

Disable Trap: They don't get trap sense, but they can actually disable traps which is more than can be said for a lot of classes.

Item Creation: Artificers can make pretty much everything, even divine magic items or spells they don't get on their list, how? Well, they can use their Use Magic Device skill to fake having spells on their list, they can also use it to fake any other requirements, like race, alignment, gender, whatever. So even if Intelligence is their casting stat, Charisma is probably the most important ability for an Artificer to have.

Craft homunculus: Artificers don't need the Craft Construct feat to make homunculuses. This might seem like a big deal, but Eberron has Homunculuses like this.

The one on the far right is notable because it can make magic items for you, sure you have to pay the costs and cast the spells for it, but you spend an hour setting up the process and it will finish it, no matter how long it takes.
Later books have homonculuses that are bows that fire themselves and a chest that follows you around and gives you items when you ask for them.

Retain Essence: The main reason why I've never seen a DM empty out the craft reserve after level ups, artificers can disenchant things, more or less, destroying them and gaining whatever XP was used to craft them for their Reserve.

Metamagic Spell Trigger/Completion These let you apply metamagic feats to items as the artificer uses them. Trigger items eat up more charges as you burn them out faster, Completion requires a more difficult UMD Check.

In 4e they're very different, due to the changes in the way that magic items work, and the advent of healing surges making it so warforged don't need their own special brand of healing. They're arcane leaders now, with the generic healing capacity that brings, and a lot of their abilities/utilities rely on replenishing/modifying the uses of magic items, tossing around little tinker items that explode/shock/otherwise deal damage. Or smacking people with a weapon or shooting them with a crossbow. Or tossing around tiny robots that do things.

The Other Classes

Here we have any unique rules for the various classes in Eberron, and a few example characters.

Barbarian
Nothing really beyond the fact that there are halfling barbarians that ride velociraptors.

Bard
There are a couple of new feats that grant new bardic music abilities, and bards can take them as bonus feats instead of gaining new bardic music at the levels they'd get that.

Clerics
Clerics can worship no gods, just picking two domains and there you go(as long as their alignment matches any alignment domains they pick), their power coming from Siberys itself. Others worship one of the pantheons in which case they can choose any domain any member of that pantheon has, again, as long as any alignment domains they choose are part of their alignment.
Also, the Gods of Eberron are fairly distant and uninvolved in day to day affairs, and don't care what their clerics do as long as their worship is genuine. So a cleric can cast a spell of any alignment, or indeed be of any alignment, and their god will not care. Their church might, and they might get excommunicated or hunted down for heresy, but they'll still be able to cast spells.

Druids
There's a brief history of druidism in here that I think is worth going over.
Back when the goblins still ruled Khorvaire, a black dragon named Vvaraak had a vision of a planar invasion of immense magnitude. Knowing that the rest of the dragons were naval-gazing too hard to help the Humanoids fight it off, she went to Khorvaire to teach the first Orc druids about the three dragons of legend, how to tap into their power, and how to seal the gates between planes the next time they open.
The invasion occured, seven thousand years later. Xoriat, the Plane of Madness invaded, Mind Flayers and their Dalkyr Overlords overran the Empire of Dhakaan. The Orc druids were eventually able to fight back, and closed the gates to Xoriat, though they didn't sever the realm from Eberron entirely. Which is good, because when the Giants did that to Dal'Quor it almost destroyed the world.
There are several distinct druidic orders but they'll be gone into in more detail later.
As far as unique options, there's a giant list of animal companions and feats that suit druid characters which will be gone over later.

Fighter
Even less than Barbarians.

Monk
There are a couple of unique monastic traditions, including one that uses longswords, and another that uses paired kamas to flense their opponents to bone.



There's also a note that warforged monks can use Wholeness of Body to repair themselves at full strength.

Paladin
Halfling paladins get velociraptor mounts, of course. Warforged can use Lay on Hands to both heal and repair as necessary.

Psionic Classes
Exist! Better get the Expanded Psionics Handbook!

Ranger
Not much except they point you at the Druid animal companion's list.

Rogue
Like fighters, there isn't much info here.

Sorcerer
Sorcerers of Eberron have a more mystical bent than normal, Dragonshards, the three Dragons, Dragonmarks, the Draconic Prophecy, Sorcerers see all of that as a part of their heritage.

Wizards
Not much, though it's worth noting that the sample Wizard is a Shifter, which is strange. They play it straight, though.

She has questionable taste in headwear though.

Prestige Classes
There are eight prestige classes in the Core Book, two I will be holding off until the next update where I go over feats and Dragonmarks (Since they're related to Dragonmarks).


Eldeen Ranger
These are the Rangers that are directly aligned with one of the five druidic sects.
  • Ashbound:These are the 'extremist' druids, that thing everyone should go back to the good old days when we lived in the forest and wiped our asses with leaves. They take the druidic command to 'destroy the unnatural' to include both arcane and divine magic. They also destroy farms and ranches that attempt to 'contain or cultivate nature'. They aren't strictly evil, and want to avoid killing.
  • Children of Winter:Spring comes after winter, and is a time of great rebirth. So why don't we just kill EVERYTHING and bring about the new Spring that much sooner? Who's with me!
  • Gatekeepers:The original Druidic sect, the ones who keep the teachings of the dragons.
  • Greensingers:Man, Fey are Awesome, Let's hang out with the Fey more! Woohoo! Fey!
  • Wardens of the Wood:The largest sect, they protect the Plains and Forests of the Eldeen Reaches.

Ultimately this isn't a very good prestige class, the things it offers that a vanilla Ranger doesn't aren't that good. Wardens of the Wood give you the Improved Critical feat and Smite Evil 1/day, except it's still charisma based and it uses your Eldeen Ranger level for bonus damage, meaning it caps out at 5. And charisma is a Ranger's dump stat. Greensingers give you Resist Nature's Lure and a Paladin's Cha mod to Saves ability. The other 3 have nothing even worth noting. at least the art is sort of good?


Exorcist of the Silver Flame
This is more like it. On the big list of things the Silver Flame hates, first is Lycanthropes, second is Demons/Devils. Exorcists are the guys who go out there and fight the former.


Flame of Censure: Turn evil Outsiders, but they get banished instead of destroyed.
Weapon of the Exorcist:One weapon the Exorcist is proficient in and that has been in her possession for at least 24 hours gets a +1 sacred bonus to damage rolls. The exorcist can only have one sacred weapon at at time but there seems to be no penalty to switching. Weapon of Silver, Weapon of Good, Weapon of Law makes the weapon count as silver, good aligned, and law aligned. Flame gives +1d6 Fire, Sacred Flame gives +1d6 sacred, and doesn't specifically say it overwrites the former. Also all of these abilities stack with whatever special properties the weapon already has. This is the bread and butter of the prestige class right here.
Resist Possession: Bonuses on saving throws against possession and mind affecting spells cast by evil outsiders/undead.
Smite Evil: Stacks with paladin/cleric levels to determine the extra damage. Otherwise it's the Paladin ability.
Silver Exorcism: The Exorcist gets a bonus on charisma checks to force out Possessing spirits, but doing so deals sacred damage to the host as you scream "THE POWER OF CHRIST THE FLAME COMPELS YOU!" at them and shove your holy symbol against their forehead.
Warding Flame: at will an exorcist can wreathe themselves in flame, +2 bonus to AC and Saving throws, SR25 against spells cast by evil creatures, and any evil creature that attacks them must make a DC20+cha fort save or be blinded permanently.

I don't care if this class is sub-optimal, there's something fun about playing a character that can light themselves on silver-fire and wade into an army of demons and come out smiling.


What is going on here. No seriously, what is that behind him?
Extreme Explorer
This is another not-great prestige class, it's basically "The Action Point"/"The Pulp Adventurer" prestige class, everything that isn't stolen wholesale from a Rogue class ability either gives you more action points, gives you more things to spend action points on, or makes the action points you spend more powerful. Extreme Hustle Does give you an extra move action for an action point, I guess, so if you wanted to break mach speed for 1 round by spending 30 action points, this is the class for you.


Master inquisitive
Since this is a Pulp setting, this is the "Hard Boiled PI" prestige class, and unlike the Extreme Explorer it actually brings something interesting to the table.

You're just so amazing at investigating, you can generate Zone of Truth, Discern Lies, and True Seeing as spell like abilities. Also you get Contacts that you can call in for favors, they work like hirelings but they'll do more stuff for you, and you can get Aristocrats, which is a big thing in Eberron.
Even better, the requirements for it are such that you can qualify by 3rd level, rather than 5th.


Warforged Juggernaut
who wants to be a weak fleshy thing. You're a Warforged with built in adamantine plating and a will to emulate the Kool-aid man.

Armor Spikes: So one day you suddenly grew adamantine armor spikes. Like out of your body.
Expert Bull Rush: You get your class level as a bonus on Strength checks to initiate or oppose a bull rush, also on strength checks to break down doors.
Powerful Charge: Deal more damage on Charges.
Reserved: Bluff? Diplomacy? Gather Information? Sense Motive? cares not for these things, and takes a penalty equal to his class level on those skills.
Charge Bonus: A bonus on charge attacks
Construct Perfection: Basically, everything that Warforged are vulnerable to because they're Living constructs as opposed to Regular constructs slowly goes away.
Extended Charge: Adamantine plating slows you down, so here's increased charge distance to make up for it.
Healing Immunity: You can no longer eat or receive magical healing, but who cares about such things, you've got a pet Artificer don't you?
Superior Bull Rush: So when you bull-rush someone, you give them a hug, a nice armor-spiked hug.
Greater Powerful Charge: Treat yourself as a size category larger when you're charging for how much damage you deal.



Weretouched Master
This is the Warforged Juggernaught's furry cousin. Where as the Jugg would let a Warforged turn into a pure construct, this one lets a shifter turn into a Lycanthrope. Not a full one, but a reasonable approximation.

Weretouched: You have to pick one of six animals for your Shifter to have been descended from, Bear, Tiger, boar, Wolverine, Rat, or Wolf. Which one you pick gives you additional bonuses when you shift and tie into the capstone ability.
Unless you're choosing something for roleplay reasons, though, you're going to pick Bear or Tiger.

Bear/Tiger give +2 str and claws, if they're already a razorclaw shifter the claws deal more damage.
Boar/Wolverine give +2 con and a bite/gore, if they're already a longtooth, bigger die, of course.
Rat/Wolf gives +2 dex and a bite, lather rinse repeat.

Once we get to Weretouched II we get the sort of fun stuff, again only available while shifting.

Bear: Improved Grab
Boar: +4 on Will Saves
Rat: Climb Speed
Tiger: Pounce
Wolf: Trip
Wolverine: Rage

Frightful Shifting: makes people shaken for 5d6() rounds if they have less hit die than you and see you attack or charge while shifting.
Alternate Form: Instead of shifting, you assume a Hybrid form based on your chosen animal, and you don't get your normal stat boosts, instead gaining the ones on the following table.

So yeah, +16 str and improved grab, or +12 str and Pounce, vs everything else.


Unfortunately the only Prestige Classes from this book that made the transition into 4E paths were the Exorcist and the Juggernaut, and only the Juggernaut made it through more or less intact, remaining a charge-machine. The Exorcist is now a ranged attacker with Leader leanings that any divine class that worships the Flame can go into. They get bonuses against demons, devils, shapechangers, and undead, and heal people when they deal fire damage. But they no longer get a weapon of smiting goodness.

Next Time: Feats, Dragonmarks, and this guy.

NGDBSS
Dec 30, 2009








Kurieg posted:

Weretouched Master

So yeah, +16 str and improved grab, or +12 str and Pounce, vs everything else.
Check the errata; those stat bonuses got nerfed hard.

ThisIsNoZaku
Apr 22, 2013

Pew Pew Pew!


Kurieg posted:

Alternate Form: Instead of shifting, you assume a Hybrid form based on your chosen animal, and you don't get your normal stat boosts, instead gaining the ones on the following table.

So yeah, +16 str and improved grab, or +12 str and Pounce, vs everything else.

gently caress me, who thought Druids needed that?

Edit: Quoted the wrong thing.

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Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012


NGDBSS posted:

Check the errata; those stat bonuses got nerfed hard.

They did?

Wizards Errata posted:

Alternate Form (Su): At 5th level, a weretouched
master can, as a swift action, assume the animal form
related to his lycanthrope heritage (the same animal
selected at 1st level). By spending two daily uses of his
shifting ability, the weretouched can transform into
animal form as if using the polymorph spell on himself,
except that the duration is a number of rounds equal to
the duration of the weretouched master’s shifting. The
weretouched master doesn’t gain any of the normal
benefits granted by shifting while this ability is active,
and the weretouched master can’t use this ability at the
same time that he is shifting. Only the specific animal
form indicated for the lycanthrope heritage (see below)
can be assumed. A slain weretouched master reverts to
his normal humanoid form, although he remains dead.
Separated body parts retain their animal form,
however.
Heritage Animal Form

Bear Bear, brown (CR 4)
Boar Boar, dire (CR 4)
Rat Rat, dire (CR 1/3)
Tiger Tiger (CR 4)
Wolf Wolf, dire (CR 3)
Wolverine Wolverine, dire (CR 4)

Add Weretouched III class feature at 5th level:
Weretouched III (Ex): At 5th level, a weretouched
master gains an additional bonus to one or more ability
scores while shifting. These bonuses stack with all
other ability score bonuses granted during shifting
(such as from weretouched I).
Heritage Ability Bonus(es)
Bear +4 Str
Boar +6 Con
Rat +6 Dex
Tiger +2 Str, +4 Con
Wolf +2 Str, +2 Dex, +2 Con
Wolverine +2 Dex, +4 Con
So they did, I can't believe that made it through playtesting unscathed. At least now it's just "Debatably better" rather than "Why the gently caress did you pick rat, what is wrong with you?"

ThisIsNoZaku posted:

gently caress me, who thought Druids needed that?

Even more hilariously, the example NPC is a Barb3/Ranger2/WM5 who picked Bear as his heritage. While raging he's got around 48 strength.

Kurieg fucked around with this message at 03:30 on May 13, 2013

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