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raverrn
Apr 5, 2005

Unidentified spacecraft inbound from delta line.

All Silpheed squadrons scramble now!



Plague of Hats posted:

West End, for whatever reason, had a habit of turning any NPC with a real name into impossibly beefy power houses. Their Star Wars sourcebooks were particularly notorious for it. loving Luke Skywalker from the period of A New Hope had the equivalent of years of experience points from regular play under his belt. The likes of the Emperor had skill levels that weren't even described in the game.

God, I remember this. Endor-era Palpatine was more than capable of destroying planets with his lightsaber alone.

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Amechra
Sep 9, 2012


So, I've found a pair of RPGs that look like they would be good to review:

- 44: A Game of Automatic Fear is a 37-page horror RPG where the players are all (initially) fighting against a conspiracy that replaces people with robots. It is, by default, set in the 50s. It is actually really good at setting the mood.

- Argh!: I haven't had a chance to give the game a detailed read-through yet, but it promises everything that you need to run "the supernatural thriller of your dreams... or nightmares!" Also, the art is done in Poser, and the book has among other things, an example character that literally gained the ability to use magic as part of researching for an RPG that he was writing. And a vampire biker gang is part of the backstory of one of the other example characters (the 'Crypts').

So, my question is... which should I cover?

Amechra fucked around with this message at 01:34 on Apr 11, 2013

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011


Obviously, Argh! because it sounds like it is going to make you want to slit your throat with one of its pages.

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007





Amechra posted:

So, my question is... which should I cover?

You know the answer, but do Argh! first.

oriongates
Mar 14, 2013

Validate Me!






Prepare to get your rear end kicked: Gods and Monsters

So, first we have a quick overview of locations in the Ancient World which is useful but not worth commenting on.

Then comes Ancient Powers, where the book goes into more detail on the greek pantheon. This was the part that I was really hoping would redeem this book. After all, if you're going to have a hercules and xena game you're going to get into conflict with a god or two and some interesting or unique rules for divine abilities could turn this book into something useful, even if I never run it.

So, I read through it. There's a quick rundown on the different deities' status within the pantheon, their habits and personalities and some roleplaying tips. You know what this section doesn't have? Any rules for using the gods during play. Get into a fight with Ares? Handled by GM fiat. Being cursed by Hera, it's up the the GM what happens. The gods basically are just plot excuses for events, which is something that often happens in the show but at the same time they're meant to also be characters that can be persuaded, threatened, or even beaten. The game even acknowledges this with it's Hero's Challenge where you survive combat with a god...but there's no rules on how to fight a god, let alone beat one.

The only rules boil down to the following:
*gods aren't omniscient, and barring magical artifacts they're only aware of what they can actually perceive. This is presumably not strictly true, considering that the gods seem to be able to respond to people calling upon them (wouldn't be much point in the Blessed advantage otherwise would there?)
*They can remain invisible to any mortals they wish.
*They're omnipotent within their spheres of influence.

That's it. No rules (even vague ones) for getting into a fight with a god, surviving their wrath, or what a god can do outside of their sphere of influence.

Keep in mind that by this point in the series both main characters have defeated gods in one-on-one combat.

*sigh*


Oh well, moving on. Next we've got things we can fight: monsters. The monsters here are pretty true to the show, but I notice that none of them actually have skills. Monsters only seem to use their base Attributes. These can exceed human attributes, but given the lack of skills to back them up this actually means that most monsters will be far less dangerous than major human opponents. For example, a giant has only 3D Reflexes, which means that they'll almost never hit anyone successfully or successfully defend against anyone's attacks. Sure, if they happen to hit you it'll hurt like hell but the odds of that are pretty low. So fighting one is mostly just a matter of carving down their huge BP supply.

And when compared to the statted NPC characters the monsters are downright pitiful. Gabrielle could take down Pyro by herself and Iolaus could easily fight an Enforcer unarmed.

Still, when measured against normal PCs they're not too bad, just a little odd since the lack of skills means they can't be "customized" very much.


So, that's about it. The adventures are mediocre but serviceable and so that's about the entirety of the game.

Despite the criticism I think the system itself isn't actually bad, it's a simple and easy to use and I do like some of the ideas behind it (the Stay Up skill in particular is one I approve of). It's just completely unsuited for the characters and setting it was trying to emulate. It's low powered and it doesn't have the flexibility you'd need to play anything other than decently skilled humans. This is not the Scion-killer I was hoping for, I guess I'll stick with PDQ for my mythic hero gaming.

So as a low-fantasy or swords-and-sorcery system it's okay, but as an appropriate system for Hercules and Xena it is very disappointing

tofuwizard
Feb 22, 2013


Mutants and Masterminds 3e - Chapter 2

This chapter lays out the basic framework of how characters are created. As it is a point-buy based system the number of power points (PP) used to purchase stuff needs to be determined. This is also tied somewhat to power level (PL), which acts similarly to levels in other D20 games in that it is supposed to represent the rough level of competency of a character. PL sets the cap for how high a characters attack, damage, power effects, saves and skills can go without circumstancial bonuses. Of course this is a point-buy game so player could gimp their character by not reaching any of those caps, but the system is transparent so doing so would be obvious. The book offers suggestions for what to set the PL to and the amount of PP to offer based on how powerful you want charcters to be. The book defaults to 150 pp and PL 10.


cost of buying stuff


Next basic fluff stuff about your character, how you got your powers, costume, goals, etc. The book also suggests adding a minimum of two complications to your character. Your allowed to take as many as you want provided its not limites by the GM. Complications are pre-set ways the GM, or you, can screw with your character in exchange for giving you hero points. Most complications are more narritive in nature (goals, motivation, wierd origins, relationships) but some have mechanical effects (vulnerabilty to certain substances, or power loss in certain environments/circumstances, etc). This part describes a bunch of different complications, how they can apply to characters and the sort of effects they have or behaviors they encourage.

Next part describes character advancment which is pretty simple. You just get more PP after completing objectives or advancing the story (recommended rate is 1PP per session plus bonuses for doing particulary successfully), and you can spend them just like in character creation. Your PL can also increase, although thats up to the GM. The book recommends increasing it everytime the players have gained 15 power points.

So with that we have a rough outline of how we create a character even though we don't have any idea what abilities, skills, advantages and powers we want to purchase as those are detailed in the next 4 chapters. Fortunately the next part of this chapter provides several fully constructed basic example archetypes, a breakdown of how many PP was spent on different things, and some simple suggestions for customisation for some of the archetypes.

  • Battlesuit - Fly, shoot things, super strong and tough. - Iron man

    Who designed this?
  • Construct - Super strong and fairly tough, moderately smart too for some reason. Provides customisation options in the form of different flavors of construct and a few appropriate powers for how to customise (ranged attacks, more toughness, regneration, etc). Can be robot warrior, elmental, undead revenant or a (really strong)ghost. - Solomon Grundy (except smart I guess)
  • Crime Fighter - The Batman archetype. Lots of skills, and advantages, and plus some ordinary weapons and utility belt things. Not very tough but good at avoiding being hit. Customisation options of more utilty belt gadgets, cool vehicles, or fighting tricks.
  • Energy Controller - You're the Human Torch. You fly around and shoot things, and have a damage dealing aura. Leaves points available for extra powers and tells you take them but doesn't have any real suggestions :sad:
  • Gadgeteer - Super smart with a few powerful gadgets and a jet pack. No real suggestions for how to customize. Differs from the Battlesuit in that more points were allocated to intelligence and skills and less to melee capabilities. I Don't really know any examples.
  • Martial Artist - Not very tough but good at evading like the Crimefighter but more focussed on beating people up and moving around and less on investigating or gadgets. Again no suggestions on customisation. The character doesn't shoot fireballs or leap around like a wuxia movie so I don't really have any examples.
  • Mimic - Can copy other characters powers by touching them, so very flexible but the copied powers aren't going to be as powerful as the original. Rogue or Parasite except you don't hurt people that you copy and they still retain their powers.
  • Mystic - Like Energy Controller except you fly slower and get remote viewing. Also like the Energy Controller the archetype leaves some room for extra powers. Not sure who this represents because it doesn't have the option to pull any power out of the hat like Zatanna, Dr. Fate maybe?

    :saddowns:
  • Paragon - Pretty much Superman minus the super senses, and heat vision so, uh, Captain Marvel?
  • Powerhouse - Super strong, and super tough. Jumps around instead of flying. - Hulk
  • Psychic - Is psychic like you'd expect. Gets mind reading, telekinesis, basic mind blasts and a choice between moderately strong mind control or illusions. - Jean Grey
  • Shapeshifter - Beast Boy. Like the Mimic, this archetype has a lot of flexibabilty, especially because you don't need to touch anyone to use your power.
  • Speedster - The Flash. Super fast. They did include some powers to represent punching someone really rapidly, or running around a room punching everyone in it.
  • Warrior - Super strong, and fairly agile and tough. Has some customisation of movement powers, choosing between running really fast, swimming really fast, jumping really far, or having super sight and hearing (disappointed the last one wasn't burrowing really fast) - Not sure who this guy is suppose to represent but I'm guessing Aquaman based on the picture

  • Weapon Master - Like the Martial Artist but not as good at dealing damage, avoiding hits and with fewer fighting options. Can customise with some moderately strong super powers (deflecting bullets, regenerating, jumping far, etc).

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006




Gerry Anderson presents Jack Kirby's Doctor Strange.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



Is that a Horseshoe crab-shaped shield?

Edit: and there's gaps where the artist forgot to fill in with white.

sexpig by night
Sep 8, 2011

by Azathoth


Gonna make an aquatic hero called The Horse Shoe Crab for my next super-hero game.

El Estrago Bonito
Dec 17, 2010

Scout Finch Bitch


I love Mutants and Masterminds because it let me run a game with three of my favorite PC's ever:

Black Belt: 70's Blacksploitation Martial Arts superstar who got thrown into a time portal by his nemesis Doctor Disco and ended up in the year 2020. Doctor Disco's fame was short lived so now they work at the same Thrift Store along with the other PCs.

Alan Smith: A method actor who was given super powers by aliens, now he gets super powers from whatever costume he wears.

Silver Fox: A semi-senile Solid Snake-like retired secret agent who put all his points into the gadgets power.

And while this game was super fun, and they did stop the evil reptile men who were trying to steal their Goodwill store it did clue me in to the fact that MaM is really broken when people pour all their points into certain things. Mainly the gadgets thing, gadgets is waaaaaaaaaaaaay too vague about what it can and cant do. The anime source book is actually really awesome, and the rules for being able to summon environmental effects (like falling cherry blossoms) that give you bonuses are awesome.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

In Okinawan kobudo, using a turtle shell shield and a spear is actually A Thing, but Idunno about horseshoe crabs. I think the guy is supposed to be some kind of Aquahoplite.

El Estrago Bonito
Dec 17, 2010

Scout Finch Bitch


Halloween Jack posted:

In Okinawan kobudo, using a turtle shell shield and a spear is actually A Thing, but Idunno about horseshoe crabs. I think the guy is supposed to be some kind of Aquahoplite.

Specifically I think he's supposed to be a sort of Hoplomachus, which were Roman Gladiators based loosely on Hoplites. At least I think that's what they're going for, he certainly has his hair sculpted like their helmets and he's wearing the distinctive arm guard and small shield. He doesn't however have his short sword and his spear doesn't really look like it'd be that good for throwing. So maybe he's a really broke Hoplomachus.

AmiYumi
Oct 10, 2005

I FORGOT TO HAIL KING TORG


Alien Rope Burn posted:

The revised tribebook honestly isn't bad, I'm just remembering art like this, where every third Silent Strider looks like an extra out of Cleopatra. (And the 1st ed. version of the tribe also continued White Wolf's love affair with magic gypsies.)


IIRC that's the tribebook with the dread Werechihuahua, though I don't have access to a camera/scanner right now to prove it.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


AmiYumi posted:

IIRC that's the tribebook with the dread Werechihuahua, though I don't have access to a camera/scanner right now to prove it.
At first I didn't believe you but.

This guy?
Leeiiiiiffff :argh:

AmiYumi
Oct 10, 2005

I FORGOT TO HAIL KING TORG


Kurieg posted:

At first I didn't believe you but.

This guy?
Leeiiiiiffff :argh:
Hahahaha, yeh, that's the one. Should've known it was Jones' handiwork.

Qwo
Sep 27, 2011


That Horseshoecrabman is genuinely super cool-looking! A bit at odds with the other illustrations in that regard.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Robindaybird posted:

Is that a Horseshoe crab-shaped shield?

Edit: and there's gaps where the artist forgot to fill in with white.

That's Darren Calvert (D-MAC), probably my favorite artist out of the M&M 2e and 3e books, and certainly one of the most reliably solid artists they have on the line.

And it's not a problem with the art, as you can see here, it's a problem with the layout on the PDF.

Robindaybird posted:

  • Warrior - Super strong, and fairly agile and tough. Has some customisation of movement powers, choosing between running really fast, swimming really fast, jumping really far, or having super sight and hearing (disappointed the last one wasn't burrowing really fast) - Not sure who this guy is suppose to represent but I'm guessing Aquaman based on the picture

Probably inspired by the new Aqualad.

Alien Rope Burn fucked around with this message at 12:32 on Apr 11, 2013

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

El Estrago Bonito posted:

And while this game was super fun, and they did stop the evil reptile men who were trying to steal their Goodwill store it did clue me in to the fact that MaM is really broken when people pour all their points into certain things. Mainly the gadgets thing, gadgets is waaaaaaaaaaaaay too vague about what it can and cant do. The anime source book is actually really awesome, and the rules for being able to summon environmental effects (like falling cherry blossoms) that give you bonuses are awesome.

There's like three different sets of rules for equipment and gadgets, which doesn't help matters either. The Inventing feat requires either a lot of time or a fistful of points dumped into Quickness to be effective. Using the Variable power with the Removable flaw is scarily effective, but gives the GM carte blanche to take your toys away without so much as a consolatory Hero Point. Equipment complicates things further by letting you spend Power Points to buy Equipment Points, which allows you give me enough of a headache to go back and just get a rank of Variable to simulate a utility belt.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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





Chapter 3 Part 1: Lords of the Beast Courts

This chapter opens up with a fictional Nagah maxim.

quote:

What would we do with all things of the human world?

You carry all creation within your body.

In all things, three - Mothers, Thunders, Worlds, Fires.

Choice is undesirable and unhealthy. Select nothing, and receive all.

:what:

This makes no sense at all, it sounds like they're just spouting nonsense in an attempt to sound profound.

The first bit they talk about is what the various shen have in common. All shapeshifters save the Kitsune cause the Delirium in Crinos form. Tengu and Khan in Crinos affect victims as if they had 2 more willpower. And Khan in their saber-tooth-tiger form cause Delirium at full strength, since apparently that's the form they killed humans in. Kumo also invoke delirium in their 'spider the size of a Buick' form. And silver affects all shapeshifters except for the ones they don't, they'll get called out in the individual entries.

Sentai

Unlike the sunset people, there is almost always at least two breeds in a Sentai. The traditional number for a Sentai is five. "There are five cardinal directions, five faces of the moon, and five elements. Each of these must be represented in the sentai or the spirits may find the war party inauspicious and unworthy of aid.

Mountain Sentai are more or less permanent, like Garou Packs, they are devoted to the Ways of Emerald Virtue entirely and act with unswerving unity.

Wave sentai, on the other hand, are created for a purpose, and can apparently include hsien, western shapechangers, or even trusted namebreakers. They don't have any special social privileges but "their advantages of convenience is unmistakable" which means absolutely nothing since there is no mechanical effects of being in a wave sentai.

Here there's a sidebar about Unlucky Behavior since this chapter is full of references of "inauspicious" or "unlucky" practices. Apparently the spirits in the Eastern Kingdoms are VERY picky about this sort of stuff, and if players don't adhere to the "mystical feel of Hengeyokai games", the storyteller is encouraged to punish them. Lose renown, be shunned by their peers, have spirits ignore them, it shouldn't be too stringent but "traditions are there for a purpose."

Yup.

Auspices

Here we have another proverb.

quote:

The house shall have

a well

a hearth

a fire

a roof

and a pillar

to hold them upright

and keep them apart

-Hengeyokai proverb

"The root word of Auspicious is auspice." so obviously the Hengeyokai put LOTS of import on their auspices. And auspices only exist inside Sentai.

Mountain Sentai need to have 5 members, each one needs to be a different auspice, and it's "Lucky" to have each member be a different changing breed. Without that the spirits consider it 'half-formed'. The main advantage of Mountain Sentai is that they can take pack actions and get a Totem. Occasionally if there are extra Hengeyokai around, they'll attach them to the Mountain Sentai as hangers on, but they get no benefits and no effect from the totem. But usually if there are more or less than Five they'll make a wave sentai instead.

Wave sentai don't need to have a member of each auspice, "but ignoring this tradition is considered unlucky" and spirits frown on inauspicious behavior in the middle kingdoms. But sometimes all you have is 3 Tengu, and occasionally such 'low sentai' can prove themselves worthy of respect by overcoming this handicap.

Lantern

The heart of the war party, the leader of the sentai. Almost literally the Philodox.

Fist

Warrior and Soldier. Almost Literally the Ahroun.

Mirror

The one who talks to spirits, bend strangers into allies, and pronounces sorceries. The Theurge.

Leaf

The stealthy auspice. Oh lo and behold it's a Ragabash

Pillar

The jack of all gently caress it it's the Galliard.

Yeah, it's the werewolf auspices just with different names. Real mysterious, Hengeyokai.

Elemental Mind

There's another sidebar here going over the elements that might be assigned to members of the Sentai when they're formed. Europeans believe in Air, earth, fire, and water. Asians believe in earth, water, fire, wood, and metal. Hengeyokai, of course, know the correct answer, Wind, Water, Fire, Earth and heartMoon... wait moon?

quote:

As the maxim goes; Wind is the breath of the world, earth the bones, water the blood, fire the heat that beats in the heart and moon the cool spirit of the land.

There's a list of what the different elements mean but they're more flowery prose.

quote:

So should players change perfectly good character concepts in order to make the perfect sentai? No, they shouldn't. Think of it as an exercise in creativity - look at the hengeyokai involved as the elders would, and see which would be best suited for which element. The results can enrich the sentai's personality tremendously.

:psyduck: right.

Changing Auspice

It's possible to switch auspices, usually when a sentai dissolves and another needs to be formed, and to do this you need to perform the Rite of the Second Face. Yet earlier they said that auspices were assigned only to Mountain Sentai and they were chosen for that sentai, wouldn't they go away when the sentai went away? Also: changing auspice more than once is UNLUCKY!

Changing from the Path of Great Virtue to service to their own tribes, or vice versa, is done by the Rite of the Great Burden, which is the Rite of Renunciation with the numbers filed off. Undergoing this rite means you can never learn the Gifts of your abandoned road again.

Other Tribes

Garou of the Thirteen tribes may join the WoEV but it requires them to forsake their previous tribes and many of the Sunset People see this as a betrayal since they might give away their secrets.

Gifts and Rites

There are common Hengeyokai gifts, and those that have a WoEV Auspice can learn gifts of the associated Garou auspice at the cost of common gifts, if the breed is cheaper due to your breed (I.E. you're a Garou or Zhong Lung with the appropriate auspice) you get it for the cheaper cost.

Renown

Renown is a 3 part system like it is for every other W:TA Line, with Glory, Virtue, and Wisdom. 'Virtue' is honor, they even flat out state that it is. Storytellers are encouraged to be generous with an extra few points of renown if they've performed a great deed. That seems nice doesn't it?

quote:

There is a down side to this generosity, however. Losing Renown is a grave affair among hengeyokai; they consider trespasses of such nature highly barbaric behavior. Of course, their definition of barbarism doesn't match the human ideal - to the hengeyokai, a barbarian among shapeshifters is one that is out of balance, relying overmuch on his human or animal nature while ignoring his duties as a shapeshifter. In the eyes of the courts, a Hakken computer hacker who cultivates contacts among high society may well be seen as less advanced as a Same-Bito hermit who suns human and shark society in order to learn the ways of the spirit world. Consequently, Renown losses are often more significant among hengeyokai, sometimes even double the penalty a Westerner might suffer - the hengeyokai loses Renown for her offense, and further Renown for the embarrassment of losing Renown at all! The Storyteller should feel free to award hefty penalties to the hengeyokai characters who behave poorly; after all, the downside to such an elevated society is a similarly elevated standard of conduct.

Why are we supposed to want to play this game again?

Rank

There are five normal ranks, Stone is 'rank 0' and is Gray. In ascending order from there is Wood(brown), Iron(red), Steel(blue), Gold(Yellow), and Silver(white). Silver is on top because it is the moooon. There's also the ultra heroic "jade" rank 6, and their color is green. Members of certain rank tend to wear badges of rank of that color, like an armband embroidered with the symbol of their Court, or jewelery.

It's mentioned that most people won't make too much of an issue of a Rank 1 person wearing silver or gold jewelery, but if they wear a white badge of honor the spirits will spread the word (UNLUCKY) and soon their rites and gifts won't work.


Breeds

Now we get into the breeds. They follow a pretty standard format

A short story.

Description of the breed.

Any specific organizational notes.

Traits unique to that breed.

Gifts/Rites

Stereotypes and a Quote.

There’s also another sidebar.

quote:

Damned if We Do, Damned if We Don’t

Hengeyokai: Shapeshifters of the east is designed to be used as a storyteller sourcebook,, preferably with a minimum of page-flipping between it and the Werewolf Players Guide. To that purpose, we’ve repeated some of the basic material on shapechangers in the WPG for convenience’s sake: most notably, the form Traits and a few Gifts and rites that are quintessentially Eastern. However, in interest of giving priority to those differences that make the hengeyokai the recognizable-but-not-familiar creatures that they are, we haven’t repeated everything.

Most notably omitted are the Homid/metis/’lupus’ gifts for the various hengeyokai, Rage/Gnosis/Willpower are there but they're buried in paragraphs of text, and the Nezumi don't have willpower given at all.

They also reference the fact that if necessary you can use the various Breed Books that are available and focus more intensely on a single breed, except at the time this book was printed, the only Breedbooks that were out were Bastet(Khan), Nuwisha(Sir not appearing in this game), and Corax(Tengu). Most of the write-ups in the Players Guide basically go “Uhh, give them whatever feels appropriate or whatever, we don’t know.” So if you bought this game right out the bat and wanted to play a Nezumi and have full gift and rule support? You’re waiting a year. Same-Bito or Nagah? You’re waiting three.

quote:

Ultimately, this book is meant to give quick and easy guidelines for running games set in the East, or incorporating hengeyokai into ongoing chronicles. It’s our hope that this compromise between completism and originality will allow you to run games without too much cross-referencing, while not charging you five extra bucks for wagonloads of rules that you already own.

Except it doesn’t do a good job of that, the MSRP of the book was $20, and you’re going to need to cross reference three books at the low end, increasing to as many as eight if you’ve got an entire group of non-garou.

Thankfully they fixed this in Revised, but until then you’re kind of screwed.

Hakken



I kind of like this art but holy poo poo is it anime

Story:Laughing Daughter of Night

Two Hakken kinfolk, Lord and Lady Taira, had two sons who were not garou, and one daughter who was, but she was a ragabash and laughed at everything. Even when her brothers taught her in the ways of bushido she laughed as she kicked their asses. Her parents thought they were going to be screwed the minute she got called into service because she'd laugh at reverence itself.

But she was, and she didn't, and the Hakken Lord sent her to take a lotus blossom to the Yotomi clan, and the Lord told her not to forget her laughter. Her parents were a bit dismayed because the Yotomi had fallen to the Wyrm, and knew that she had been given a suicide mission. But they weren't worried that she'd die, but that she'd die dishonorably.

Regardless, she went to the Yotomi shrine, and kicked all sorts of rear end, laughing the entire time at how far the Yotomi had fallen from the true path of Bushido. The spirits who heard her had never heard such perfect laughter. When she died they carried her away, also the Lotus blossom was a big gently caress-off firebomb.

The Daimyo told her parents about her noble death and her parents were ashamed that they thought so poorly of her.

"Let this be a lesson to you, then. For the path of warrior(sic) is to strive for quality in all things, not just those which bring us the greatest glory and honor in battle. This is truly the way of the Hakken"

Description

If it wasn't obvious from the story, they're Werewolf Samurai, what isn't obvious from the story is that they're Shadow Lords, a tribe who's name is synonymous with "backstab". And while the Hakken have their own political leanings and backstabs, they look with contempt upon their Western cousins. Why?

quote:

It's that most Shadow Lords lack any real finesse, polish or code of conduct for the whole process that's unappealing to their Japanese cousins.

If you're going to be a bastard at least take some pride in your work!

Unfortunately, the Hakken act too much like Samurai and not much like wolves, to the point that they're even more unbalanced than the Glass Walkers. This goes hand in hand with the fact that the real life Hokkaido wolf and Shinshu wolf are extinct. In the World of Darkness, any living wolves are probably confined to the extreme northern islands.

One solution is to import new Lupus blood from other tribes. Some are attracted to Japan's beauty and mystery, others are repulsed by the human behavior of the Hakken. But the Hakken don't want those other wolves. "Other tribes are Gaijin, foreign, inferior. What do they know of the highest demands of honor, family, and duty?"

The Hakken have their own code of Bushido that they follow.


  • Benevolence and unselfishness - each Hakken carries a Dai-sho (Katana and Wakasashi) as a symbol of their authority and rank. Among the Hakken, using a sword is considered a sign of mercy because they're less lethal to other Hengeyokai than their teeth and claws. The Dai-sho are meant to remind the Hakken to show mercy and only use as much power as is necessary, so the Hakken never bind spirits into their Dai-sho.

  • Straightforwardness-This rule actually means to appear to be straightforward, the truth might be different. Many Hakken are adept at the ancient samurai art of the ice burn, insulting someone but them not noticing it because the Hakken was appearing to be straightforward. Is represented by a many faceted jewel.

  • Wisdom-The mirror is the symbol of wisdom, because it allows for reflection and knowledge of the self.

    Wait, sword, jewel, mirror? That reminds me of something, but I can't place my finger on it. Regardless the first 3 are believed to be the most important virtues, "The Divine Virtues".

  • Loyalty (chushin)-Allegiance to your sworn Daimyo is paramount. Though Hakken are less likely to commit suicide since A: it's a bit more difficult and B: they're a dying race and can't really afford it.

  • Maintain Quality in All Things- Vengeance, art, war or love, practice it to the highest level of distinction.

  • Eternal obedience-Since the Daimyo is chosen by Gaia he can never be wrong, so obey him in all things. If you cannot meet his orders then you should probably go ronin, not to avoid loss of personal honor, that's expected, but so your daimyo doesn't look bad by picking someone who can't do the job, since that would mean he's no longer a just and strong leader, aren't catch-22's great?

  • Acceptance of punishment for failure- If you gently caress up, take it. If you're dealing punishment, be just and wise in doing so.

  • Acceptance of a just fate for injustice done to others-Karma. Know that if you do something evil, even if it's because your Daimyo told you to, you're going to get some recompense


Organization

Rather than camps or packs, Hakken tend to group themselves by their family lines, with a Daimyo at the head. Lupus think they're crazy and gather in packs, and are more inclined to go join the beast courts and their sentai.

Instead of massive clan wars, Hakken settle most disputes in ritual single combat. Sometimes this takes the form of art or lore competitions. They also still delight in political machinations that take years to culminate, but have adapted to the electronic age. Hakken aren't above using computer viruses or phishing schemes to reach their ends.

Most hakken live in Japan, a few have migrated to the west coast of the US where they compete with stargazers and glass walkers.

In the beast courts the Hakken are usually soldiers or Generals. They're happiest serving with Kitsune and Tengu who have long histories in japan, they're uncomfortable around other shapeshifters, but if they're ordered to they swallow their pride. The Zhong Lung are considering this a long-game to force the hakken to deal with the other breeds to get back in touch with their wolf side, somehow?



The rare gorillawolf-samurai?

Hakken tend to marry for political reasons, though love and passion aren't unheard of since 'excellence in all things' applies to your emotions as well. They don't marry outside the Hakken bloodlines though, since those are Gaijin. Most Hakken don't bother with rank titles, just calling themselves Samurai rather than western Gaijin terms. (I'm not inserting these, nor am I italicizing them, the book is doing both for me)

The Hakken honor their tribal totem Naru-Kami, which is the proper term for the totem the Gaijin call Grandfather Thunder.

Gifts

Lesse, they can fold cranes for good luck. Cause themselves to look impeccably groomed before social gatherings. Attack with their katana so fast that it launches a shockwave that cuts someone as far away as 50 yards. And.. uhh.. make a very very big hurricane, which isn't the problem. The fact that the gift is called Divine Wind is.

Quote

"Perhaps you speak with wisdom; perhaps our fangs have dulled with the years, and our talons grown feeble from clutching human weapons. Would you do me the honor of proving the truth of your words? Please, I await your attack."

:smug:

Stereotypes

They dislike Khan for thinking themselves noble (no one is as noble as my Daimyo). Kitsune and Tengu are awesome.

quote:

Same-Bito- So they have their own codes of honor? How well do they measure up against our traditions? None too well, I imagine, since they probably imitated us in the first place.

Punishing players for not having a perfect party or a group of exactly 5 people? Screaming Honor, Auspiciousness, UNLUCKY, and Valorous at the top of their lungs? Giving the storyteller ideas on how to gently caress over the players if they either do too well or not well enough? Backstabbing Samurai that follow the code of Bushido only as far as it allows them to gently caress with people?

Wick? :arghfist::confused:


Khan

Thunder Thunder Thunder Thunder Khan!
Story: The King who Forgot
Once upon a time there was a much beloved king. He was a hero to his people and he had slain many Rakshasa in his time. He ate well and hunted the beasts of the forests with a vigor worthy of the tigers themselves.
One day his soldiers caught a tigress that had been killing many of his subjects over the years and he had it brought before his court in chains. The king was happy to see the tigress brought before him as tribute, but he was surprised to see her crying.
"Such a savage beast, do you week for fear of your life? I expected better of a mighty tigress."
"No King, you are the Tigers."
And then the king was a tiger. His son stabbed the tigress through the heart with a spear, and then the king went on a rampage and killed everyone in his court then fled to the jungle and wept for about three years.
Eventually the great tiger general of heaven descended and told him to quit his crying, as heaven would not lift it's curse. Now that a tiger had chosen humanity over tigers, humanity would eventually kill all the tigers. The king asked if there is nothing he could do, and the General imprisoned the king in a gem, if the tigers could find the gem they would be returned to prosperity and saved. If they fell to in-fighting, they're screwed.

Spoilers: They fell to in fighting.

Description
The Khan are the only Were-cats in the beast courts. And they combine the Bastet penchant for secrets with their own natural ability as warriors, sneaking into a location, getting the information, and then killing everyone else who knows it.
Organization
At one time there was a great tiger sultanate, where the Eastern and Western Khan met to share lore. But the Sultan was corrupt and killed a bunch of people, so the Khan distrust westerners now. There's maybe a hundred Khan left in the middle kingdoms, so they stay spread out so that a lucky wyrm-attack can't just wipe them out entirely. There's also the fact that their beast kin is dying out rather rapidly.


Traits, Breeds and Forms
Khan have 5 rage but only 2 willpower, and each of their breeds have 1 more gnosis than their Garou counterparts. They can't step sideways without a level 4 gift so most khan seek out mountain sentai so they can piggyback on more capable members. They're ridiculously picky about their breeding stock, and since there are over a billion people in china, that only increases difficulties.
Their forms are analogous to Garou ones, with Homid, Sokto(glabro) Crinos, Chatro(Hispo), and Feline. Their Sokto form is described as "long and supple" and "intimidatingly exotic", because werecat. Their crinos form is weaker than Garou, but their Chatro form is flat out better, other than the fact that you can't wield weaponry but when you're a loving saber-tooth tiger with +4 str and +2 dex I'm pretty sure you don't care.
Gifts
They can make their hands invulnerable, so they can attack things with acidic or spiny hides. They can eavesdrop on conversations from 250 yards away. They can attack enemies in the spirit world without stepping sideways themselves. And there's Heaven Thunder Hammer, the Tiger Hadouken, apparently they need special dispensation from the Tiger General spirit to use this gift. and if they use it once, they need to talk to him again (requiring another special audience) to get the ability to use it another time.

Quote
"Shoot me. Cut me. Stalk me. Hunt my kind for their flesh and hate me for my claws. I am still Khan, the lord of tigers, and I shall rest my paw on your bloody skull and shake the heavens with my roars."

Stereotypes
They hate Hakken, think Kitsune are just waiting to back stab them. They seem to hate pretty much everyone except the Zhong Lung, who they think are awesome because they're dragons.


This chapter is pretty long so I'm going to split it here.
Next up: Spiders, Crows, Rats, Sharks, Snakes, and Dragons

AmiYumi
Oct 10, 2005

I FORGOT TO HAIL KING TORG


Fun note: most of the rest of the "Asian shifters" from this book got further support & showed up in Revised form later on, but from what I can recall the Hakken pretty much got "outside the scope of this book, see [future book that says the same thing]" for the rest of WtA.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


Rules for Hakken are in Players Guide to the Changing Breeds in the Beast Courts chapter. They aren't in Shadow Lords: Revised but that's because Shadow Lords have about thirteen camps with their own gift lists.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

I keep seeing 'sentai' and thinking 'furry Power Rangers'.

pospysyl
Nov 10, 2012



Tribebook: Black Furies



Welcome to a very special F&F series. I'm going to be going through my Tribebook collection and reviewing every tribe's splatbook. I'll be judging them based on how effective they are at providing viable character concepts and encouraging players to actually use the splat. These will be the Revised versions, because those are the ones I have.

I'll be skipping over Children of Gaia, since that was covered in the last thread and I don't have the book, but that's a perfect example of a bad splatbook. Aside from all the :staredog:, the book portrayed the entire tribe as a crew of naive, connection obsessed idiots, and nobody wants to play one of those. There was no diversity, no realistic political or spiritual tension, or teeth displayed. It's a perfect failure. But enough about the series! Let's get to the main event.

Black Furies are one of the odder tribes, in that rather than representing a specific wolf population, like the other splats, they’re supposed to represent an entire mythological meme, which is itself tied to a gender. Strictly speaking, they’re originally from Greece, and a lot of their milieu and imagery is associated with Greek mythology. Personally, I find their brand of mysticism a lot more evocative than their feminism, and their tribebook does a good job of presenting that. I’m not sure Werewolf: the Apocalypse needed an all-woman splat, but it could have been a lot worse.

Before we start the book, here’s a quick summary of the Black Fury entry in the Revised corebook.


Look at those toenails! Totally a werewolf. Also, http://harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=311

quote:

The Black Furies practice feminism with a vengeance.

Literally the first sentence and already we’re off to a great start. Legend has it that the Black Furies were originally a group of Greek women, who eventually inspired a whole bunch of warrior women myths. They also legendarily only produce female offspring, but it turns out they were just killing all their male cubs. (I’m excited to play a Black Fury already!) Nowadays, though, they just kick all of their males out (mostly into the Children of Gaia) and recruit lady werewolves. They keep male metis, though, and as we learn in their Tribebook, it’s because they’re sterile.

Remember, though, they don’t hate all men! Most of them get along just fine in packs with males. They just speak their mind and push for equality through recruiting women out of oppressive tribes. Seems to me that would create a lot of friction, but whatever.

Other than militant feminism, their other schtick is their Western mystic tradition. They have a spiritual connection to the Wyld (the counterpart to the Weaver and the Wyrm), and they worship it in a very particular Hermetic fashion. This involves maintaining strong natural places and performing witch-like rites (we’ll learn about those in the Tribebook, and oh man are they great.) Right now, it’s not clear how this is any different from the other tribes, other than how they’re all women.

Their tribe totem is Pegasus, who apparently really does hate all men because of Bellerophon. Packs of Black Furies are known as kuklos, or circles (I don’t know Greek, so feel free to point out if White Wolf is being dumb here.) They report to the Outer Calyx, the public leaders of the tribe, who then report to the Inner Calyx, the secret leaders of the tribe, who then answer to Pegasus. The Calyxes are in charge of protecting and keeping track of the Black Furies’ collection of fetishes. The main source of political tension is formed along age lines, where the younger tribe members are a lot more radical and political than the conservatives of the Calyxes.

Appearance: They’re women, so they could look like any woman. Good use of space.

Kinfolk: They’re women, so they could be any woman. There are some men who are just kind of ignored, but the Black Furies don’t hate them! Honest! Except some do. Another valuable entry.

Territory: Sacred groves, but those are threatened by MEN. They also try to be where violence against women is a serious problem.

quote:

The testosterone's getting a little thick around here. I say we let the men keep arguing for a few more hours and set off on our own. Let them keep posturing at the moot. We've got woman's work to do....
:nyd:

Stereotypes: Weirdly enough, they seem to like pretty much everyone, even the Shadow Lords and Fianna. The Fianna are particularly surprising, since they’re one of the most misogynistic tribes. The only tribes they don’t like are the Get of Fenris (assholes) and the Red Talons (racists).

Thoughts: This is actually not as bad as I remember. There’s not a lot setting them apart from the other tribes, other than the obvious membership requirements but they’re not so ridiculous as to be unplayable. There’s just not a lot to hook onto here. The wordcount they spend to counteract the stereotype that every Black Fury is a radical feminist just dilutes anything that would make them compelling to play. The Tribebook does a lot to fix this, but your mileage may vary on that.

Next time: “Unity in Alterity”, the lost TNG episode title.

sexpig by night
Sep 8, 2011

by Azathoth


Black Furies was written, I believe by James and Ellen Kiley, who most notably wrote the Gangrel vampire clan book, one of the early and extremely weak ones with very little use even for diehard Gangrel players, and Sins of the Blood, a book that was about the taboos of vampire culture and basically had little use beyond 'oooh be a super creepy vampire'.

Also despite apparently having a woman as a co-writer it constantly uses a view of feminism Reddit would be proud of, so yea, we're in for a treat.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Thinking about it I find the choices of subject matter for Werewolf splats generally just... bizarre and random. Feminist werewolves! Hobo werewolves! Irish werewolves! It's like any random goddamn thing they thought up just got thrown into the game and who cares if it's interesting or makes sense.

sexpig by night
Sep 8, 2011

by Azathoth


Let's be honest, the process for making Werewolf clans has been 'what culture can we poorly appropriate to make white middle class nerds feel like they're getting an 'outsider perspective' on complex issues, like magic spirits and spider-monsters.'

I'm positive 1st ed Werewolf's writer room had a big dartboard with assorted cultures and ethnicity of the world.

They musta hit 'natives' like five times, but goddamn if they were going to defy the will of the darts.

TombsGrave
Feb 15, 2008



This is why I prefer New World of Darkness, especially Werewolf: The Forsaken. The original games are just way, way too inconsistent in tone and content, especially the bizarro mishmash of inexplicably-linked groups that make up the core Werewolf splats.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Old Werewolf is at its best when it is being Psychotic Captain Planet With Claws, and really becomes something terrible when it deviates from that. It's really, really hilarious when it's being Captain Planet Terrorism, though.

El Estrago Bonito
Dec 17, 2010

Scout Finch Bitch


I sort of prefer Werewolves to be a mishmash of different totally random tribes. I like that they range from barely distinguishable to extremely radical and crazy. It sort of reminds me of how Motorcycle gangs or white supremacists are organized. They all believe some different totally batshit insane doctrines they have made up and then cling together based on really tenuous idealogical claims. They aren't nice people or even for the most part good or decent people. They are radical extremists and terrorists and the books reflect that pretty well. Furies were always one of those tribes that were saddled with being in a very beige place story wise. They are on pretty good terms with everyone, have few long time enemies, accept people from large varieties of backgrounds and have a sort of take it or leave it overarching goal (some kind of loose matriarchal feminist agenda). This makes them a good tribe for NPC allies and for players who don't really have a strong character idea and those kinds of groups are nice to have in an RPG but tend to be a little boring as a sacrifice (see: Greeks in Scion, Bruja in VtM, Hermes in Mage, Zenith in Exalted and even Legion in Wraith to some degree) and never have enough really cool stuff to fill a whole splat. Thankfully with their other lines WW tended to jam large amounts of meta plot into those books but Werewolf was never a game that was as meta heavy as the other OWoD games.

RocknRollaAyatollah
Nov 26, 2008



Lipstick Apathy


The Hakken really don't make any sense as being Shadowlords. They don't hold the same ideals, they don't have the same tribal totem, and they have very little in common other than physical appearance. If anything they should be Silver Fangs due to their delusional adherence to honor. The writers probably just looked at what tribes had black haired wolves and settled on the least controversial one. In a perfect world there would have been more than the set number of tribes but White Wolf was pretty hardcore on having set numbers even if they became meaningless due to bloodlines.

I can't wait until you get to the Kitsune, they're the biggest Mary Sues in in the whole OWoD.

They can learn any gift, regardless of who it's from, have their own ridiculous origami magic, can't be embraced because they self destruct, and when the apocalypse happens, they inherit the earth. They're supposed to be Asian Nuwisha but I supposed someone really liked anime fox people.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


Werewolf was always a game that relied more on it's backstory than it's metaplot. After Valenberg Foundation I think White Wolf basically told them to stop making metaplot for fear of creating another Skinner.


RocknRollaAyatollah posted:

The Hakken really don't make any sense as being Shadowlords. They don't hold the same ideals, they don't have the same tribal totem, and they have very little in common other than physical appearance. If anything they should be Silver Fangs due to their delusional adherence to honor. The writers probably just looked at what tribes had black haired wolves and settled on the least controversial one. In a perfect world there would have been more than the set number of tribes but White Wolf was pretty hardcore on having set numbers even if they became meaningless due to bloodlines.
Yeah, they have the same totem but they call him something different, and they can learn Shadow Lord gifts. I'm not sure why they picked Shadow Lord to be the tribe, but it's done now.

quote:

I can't wait until you get to the Kitsune, they're the biggest Mary Sues in in the whole OWoD.

They can learn any gift, regardless of who it's from, have their own ridiculous origami magic, can't be embraced because they self destruct, and when the apocalypse happens, they inherit the earth. They're supposed to be Asian Nuwisha but I supposed someone really liked anime fox people.

I really hate the way the Kitsune are written in Hengeyokai, just because they are so super special amazingly awesome, even if you like the concept of fox shapeshifters you kind of have to dislike the Kitsune as written in this book. Revised fixed pretty much everything you wrote even if W20 backslid a little, and I will be addressing these points when I get to the fox breedbook. Especially the Embrace, as that was a stupid way to solve a real problem.

jadarx
May 25, 2012


Houses of the Blooded
Chapter 3 – The Ven

I. Ven Overview

Despite being creations of sorcerer-kings, the Ven look a lot like your standard human. They have dark skin with curly hair. The literature uses individual Ven's physical characteristics as identifiers for the Ven's character. For example, paler skinned Ven are untrustworthy, while gold-eyes ones are tricksters.

A Ven's name is sacred. Names in Shanri are power. If you name something, you own it. All Ven have two names, a family name and a personal name. For Blooded Ven, the family name is associate with their House. Blooded Ven also have a third name, a secret name.

Ven do not get sick, nor do they die of old age. Instead, as Ven age, they grow taller and thinner. They start developing odd habits, like a desire for only a particular type of fruit. In the later stage, the Ven's body weakens and their desires die. Eventually, their body stops moving and excretes a thick, sticky white substance :shock:. This substance, growing like hairs all over their body, forms a cocoon. But the Ven is not dead. No, they are in Solace, q'va. Other Ven who sleep near the sleeping ven or suaven often hear them in their dreams. All Ven will sleep and some day, awaken.

Despite their enhanced physiology, Ven can still be killed. A sword to the chest or poison in the goblet will end a Ven's life, as will falling off your horse. Ven view this as a tragedy, as it robs the Ven of Solace, of Eternity and Revenge. Ven rarely commit suicide.

II. Ven Society

Ven can be divided into two rough groups. At the bottom are the peasants, the ruk. Ruk, nicely translated is People of the Earth, but given the views of the other group, a better meaning is dirt. This 'translation' will show up through most of this chapter. If you're a peasant, you are always dirt. You might be honored dirt or talented dirt, but the Blooded always see you as dirt.

Speaking of the Blooded, they are the second group of Ven. The Blooded are the Ven nobility. What makes a Ven a noble. Firstly and most importantly, their Blood. This isnt' a mundane case of 'noble blood'. No, instead the noble Ven have magic blood. There is a ritual that separates these Ven from the common dirt. Each Ven has had this ritual performed on them when they enter their House. Second, all Ven nobles control land. Control is the key word, as you don't have rights on the land just because of your title. If you can't control the land, another Ven can take it and become the true ruler and all the other Ven will recognize them instead.

Each Blooded Ven belongs to one of six Houses. There used to be ten, but the other four are shrouded in shame. The ritual that makes you a Blooded ties you to a House. You can never be Blooded to another House. The six remaining Houses are The Bear, The Elk, The Falcon, The Fox, The Serpent and The Wolf.
The Bear – From the less civilized North, Bear Blooded are considered less refined than southern Ven. They favor Strength and independence. Sometimes act crabby.
The Elk – As family of the old Emperor, they seek to redeem their name. They favor Subtly and Cunning. There a laws against how many Elk Blooded can own land and practice sorcery.
The Falcon – The Falcon originally did not own land. They wandered the land and sea. Fifty years ago, they struck and carved out lands of their own. They are the closest to the common folk and favor Courage.
The Fox – The harvesters of culture and etiquette. They set the standards for art and fashion. The Fox favor Beauty.
The Serpent – Sneaky gits. Trickers who deal with poison and sorcery. Trick people into thinking they can't swim. Scorpio... Serpents favor Wisdom.
The Wolf - The Wolf are fanatical about everything. They are fierce fights and passionate scholars. They seek the truth to use as a weapon. Wolves favor Prowess.

III. Ven Nobility

By being a Noble, you have certain rights and responsibilities. A Noble has rights to most of what their lands produce. If they want a new sword, they go to the blacksmith and get one. The noble's underlings rely on the Noble for protection, so their labor is 'gladly' exchanged for the Ven's compassion. Nobility gives you the following rights:
Exception from Taxes
A Right to carry a sword and have a coat of arms
The Right to own land and hunt on that land
The Right of Revenge
A Noble can also create titles for his underlings. That Ven creates a contract for the title, detailing how the title works and what it's responsibility is. One title might be for only a season, while another may pass down along new noble's family.

Each Noble has a title. The title may be be given from their liege lord or claimed. They are NOT inherited. For example, if you go out and claim a chunk of land from the orks. If the land is sufficiently large and you demonstrate control over it, you can claim the title of Baron. Here are the ranks of nobility.

1. Knight / Roadman (Yvil)
Knights are an odd rank, as it contradicts a lot of what we've been told about Ven nobles. Knights are responsible for protecting the land. They are the closest to the traditional fantasy adventurer. Another Noble will give out Knight titles to Ven who exhibit bravery, partially to support those Ven and probably more likely to attach those Ven to his service. Some Ven knights may be commoners. So while they have a title, they are not Blooded. Most knights do not have land or are allowed to have their own coat of arms. Those that do are on the road to becoming...
2. Baron/Baroness (r'shana)
A Baron is the lowest of the land-owning titles. Some Barons don't control the land they govern. Baron Titles tend to be only for a single generation and has to be renewed.
3. Count/Countess (rhushava)
Countesses control a county, a large parcel of land. They have proven themselves loyal and can accompany their liege lord on journeys.
4. Marquis/Marquise (fyllyn)
Marquis are special Counts. Originally, the title was given to those who guarded the outer lands. Now it is a title of distinction. Only those who are fully trusted are given this title, as the power that comes with it is great.
5. Duke/Duchess (ohlrex)
The Duchess is the top of the Ven Nobility ladder. They answer to no other Ven Their word is the Law.
6. Earl (avirex for men, avirexa for women)
The “High Dukes” or leaders of the Blooded Houses. Technically still Dukes.

Up Next: What do the Ven think of various things. Hint: :smug:

RocknRollaAyatollah
Nov 26, 2008



Lipstick Apathy

Kurieg posted:

Yeah, they have the same totem but they call him something different, and they can learn Shadow Lord gifts. I'm not sure why they picked Shadow Lord to be the tribe, but it's done now.

True, I forgot that it was Grandfather Thunder by a different name. I thought it was an older aspect that became it's own entity for some reason.

Maxwell Lord
Dec 12, 2008

I am drowning.
There is no sign of land.
You are coming down with me, hand in unlovable hand.

And I hope you die.

I hope we both die.


:smith:



Grimey Drawer

oriongates posted:

So as a low-fantasy or swords-and-sorcery system it's okay, but as an appropriate system for Hercules and Xena it is very disappointing

Where they lost me was Xena with 2 Strength. Warrior Princess is right in the show title, guys.

It's a shame that WEG folded, but near the end they were... not what they once were.

Asimo
Sep 23, 2007




Honestly, WEG was always kind of... off and on. In the early years they had some amazingly creative thoughts (Ghostbusters basically invented both the modern dice pool mechanic and the "hero point" idea, all back in 1986), but even by the era of Star Wars they were kind of fumbling a bit with God-NPCs that PCs could never hope to match and with other mechanics and setting material that really poorly supported the genre ("Traveller with Wookies" is a bit of an overstatement, but it was definitely how most SWd6 games were run...) It's still kind of sad and it probably would have been better if the company stayed healthy, but Hercules & Xena was kind of the result of a sad devolution rather than something out of the blue.

FMguru
Sep 10, 2003

peed on;
sexually

OJ Simpson killed WEG.

WEG was apparently set up as a company that was supposed to lose money as part of a (legal!) tax scheme to offset profits in other parts of the owner's portfolio. That scheme became non-viable when those other parts suddenly exploded in profitability and WEG's reliable money-losing was now a problem for the ownership, and the company spiraled down to nothing quickly thereafter. As you note, the output of their last couple of years was...not good. Like late-era TSR - no playtesting, no editing, bad/recycled art, layout just a couple of steps above Word95's default.

OJ Simpson killed WEG because the other business I'm referring to was the owner's license to import Italian shoes - specifically, Bruno Magli shoes, which were what Simpson (allegedly) wore during the murders and were the focus of the trial, which sent their public profile and their demand skyrocketing, and then crashing, wiping out the company and forcing WEG to fend for itself without much in the way of resources, which wasn't easy in the CCG-driven collapsing RPG market of the mid-1990s.

Some of WEG's late-era titles were just...I mean, Shatterzone? Paranoia 5E? Tales From The Crypt? Necroscope? TANK GIRL?!? Men In Black had some potential (like Ghostbusters, it's a great premise for an ongoing campaign as the animated TV version demonstrated) but the execution was awful.

LOL

Wikipedia posted:

Eric Gibson has stated in an interview that he was "perhaps naïvely optimistic" in assuming that distributors would order products produced under his ownership of the company "just because it's West End Games." He further stated that this led him to print more books than he could sell, books which he had to destroy in order to save on storage costs.

Serperoth
Feb 21, 2013





Tatum Girlparts posted:

complex issues, like spider-monsters.

I totally want to see an official discussion at some Parliament or other about spider monsters.
"The origins, and consequences, of arachnid creatures which belong to the monstrous persuasion".

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011


Necroscope had a great premise for an rpg. Secret government agencies fielding Espers and tough as nails agents battle hostile invaders from a parallel dimension ran by the monsters. I even enjoyed the earlier books, but battling the same vampires over and over again would get boring.

EDIT: Holy poo poo, I just realized the broken down summary is Don't Rest Your Head with some extra normals thrown in.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

Alien Rope Burn posted:

Thinking about it I find the choices of subject matter for Werewolf splats generally just... bizarre and random. Feminist werewolves! Hobo werewolves! Irish werewolves! It's like any random goddamn thing they thought up just got thrown into the game and who cares if it's interesting or makes sense.
I think that's because the source subject matter for Werewolf is a lot weaker than for Mage or Vampire. In Western myth, werewolves are either baby-eating Satan-worshipers (premodern) or people who have a curse (movies) which doesn't make for a culture you can play in. I'm not well-versed in Asian and African lore, but I don't think their myths of werefoxes and wereleopards make them out as very playable character options.

FMguru posted:

OJ Simpson killed WEG.

WEG was apparently set up as a company that was supposed to lose money as part of a (legal!) tax scheme to offset profits in other parts of the owner's portfolio. That scheme became non-viable when those other parts suddenly exploded in profitability and WEG's reliable money-losing was now a problem for the ownership, and the company spiraled down to nothing quickly thereafter. As you note, the output of their last couple of years was...not good. Like late-era TSR - no playtesting, no editing, bad/recycled art, layout just a couple of steps above Word95's default.

OJ Simpson killed WEG because the other business I'm referring to was the owner's license to import Italian shoes - specifically, Bruno Magli shoes, which were what Simpson (allegedly) wore during the murders and were the focus of the trial, which sent their public profile and their demand skyrocketing, and then crashing, wiping out the company and forcing WEG to fend for itself without much in the way of resources, which wasn't easy in the CCG-driven collapsing RPG market of the mid-1990s.
The version of the story I heard was that the owner of WEG and those other companies had a policy where profit was redistributed among his businesses, so that the successful businesses propped up the ones that needed some help, and that when the shoe company crashed, it took everything else down with it.

quote:

Some of WEG's late-era titles were just...I mean, Shatterzone? Paranoia 5E? Tales From The Crypt? Necroscope? TANK GIRL?!? Men In Black had some potential (like Ghostbusters, it's a great premise for an ongoing campaign as the animated TV version demonstrated) but the execution was awful.
What was bad about Shatterzone? It came out in '93.

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Humbug Scoolbus
Apr 25, 2008

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


Clapping Larry

WEG produced TORG which was an amazing game, with an incredible setting. For that I forgive them a lot.

Humbug Scoolbus fucked around with this message at 16:52 on Apr 12, 2013

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