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Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

I never really liked old Werewolf, but I never thought I could loathe it the way I grew to despise old Changeling's love affair with manic pixie insanity and a Middle Ages that never really existed. I guess it was just a lack of exposure!

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Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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





I wasn't introduced to Apocalypse until revised, shortly before they ended the line. I never read any of the older books until I started hearing about how hilariously bad they were. I still like the game though.

There are basically two different segments of the Old World of Darkness, pre-revised, and revised.
(The differences between 1st and 2nd edition werewolf were almost entirely math fixes and turning renown into a dot system rather than a granular scale that went into the hundreds of thousands) White Wolf had a reorganization in the late 90s, Bridges got moved onto Mage, and Skemp took over in his place.

Revised got rid of a lot of the super captain-planety stuff. The villains were still evil, but the straight up puppy kicking is gone. The New Book of the Wyrm and the Pentex books are actually pretty good while maintaining a sense of humor where appropriate. Book of the Weaver is surprisingly nuanced, and has villains that are otherwise completely mortal.

It's just a lot more fun to dig up the old shame books and poke holes in them.

Kurieg fucked around with this message at 06:55 on Aug 3, 2013

Capntastic
Jan 13, 2005

A dog begins eating a dusty old coil of rope but there's a nail in it.



So I got the Numenera player's guide today; still waiting on the core book. Anyone else get it and take a peek yet?

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


quote:

The Tanami Protectorate
Area:From the Tanami Desert up to the Gulf
Tribe:Red Talons.
It's another blasted desert. Also there are miners here, the Red Talons hate them.
This is now three Red Talon protectorates for whom their main concerns are 'people are mining here, and that's bad'. I wonder what the Red Talon tribal moots are like.

"PEOPLE ARE MINING!"
"MINES ARE THE ENEMY!"
"ALSO METEOR CRATERS!"

This is AusPol.txt
Is there a caern in Cairns?
Some politicians call the 'white guilt history' the book used 'black armband history'.

Count Chocula fucked around with this message at 09:29 on Aug 3, 2013

InShaneee
Aug 11, 2006

Cleanse them. Cleanse the world of their ignorance and sin. Bathe them in the crimson of ... am I on speakerphone?

Fun Shoe



Countdown, Chapter 4 - The Outlook Group

Dr. Albert Yrjo isn't a well known name, though there's a few within the field of behavioral sciences that would recognize it. In the early 60's, he began a series of behavioral experiments patterned after the now-famous Millgram experiment: in Yrjo's, he simulated high-stress situations (including building fires, elevator failures, news of presidential assassination, and news of an impending nuclear strike) to see if there were any patterns that could be determined. This was brought to a halt when, in 1964, amidst a simulated alien first contact, a subject suffered a psychotic break and murdered two other test subjects before he could be restrained. NYU immediately withdrew his tenure and halted all his funding. He spent the next several years writing manuscripts about his theories and experiments, but his inability to find a publisher drove him deep into debt. He did, however, begin work on what he considered his greatest work: SRT (Stress Reaction Testing), a set of testing protocols that would determine just how much stress an individual could withstand before cracking. It was just theoretical, and again, he had difficulty finding a publisher...until the Air Force heard about his work. Yrjo spent the 70's working with the Air Force to refine his experiments (now classified under codename SOMA), refining them into a set of 'personality models', which could, to some degree, predict the actions and reactions of subjects with similar personalities.

In 1978, Yrjo was introduced to Dr. Albert Ringwood. Ringwood was the director of MJ-12's PLATO project, and was currently attempting to prepare for the first face-to-face with the Greys. Ringwood told Yrjo that if he worked with him, he'd have unlimited funding and zero ethical oversight (though Yrjo wasn't actually told the nature of the work he was to do). Yrjo eagerly accepted, and was relocated to a re-purposed think tank in Maryland called the OUTLOOK Group. There, he was given a narrow, specific mandate to continue his tests, but with scenarios focusing on themes of alien incursion and first contact situations. With unlimited funding, Yrjo's simulations grew more and more realistic, though he grew suspicious as to what end he was working towards. In reality, all his test subjects were actually MJ-12 personnel, who Ringwood was testing for the mission with the Greys. Ringwood found his testing to be extremely accurate, with his personality models sometimes being able to predict unstable members without the need for testing at all.

The facility itself covers nine acres of land, and appears to be a lightly secured office building (in reality, the 'rent-a-cops' outside are all former NRO DELTA, and some of the most highly trained killers in the world). The apparent building actually hides a series of sub-basements where the elaborate experimental scenarios are carried out, and all Yrjo's records are kept under heavy security. The facility has a regular staff of about 66 people, around 40% of whom are the doctors and nurses who oversee the testing (though almost none know the real purpose of the tests, and those that get suspicious tend to get their own 'treatments').

As a nod to the project's success, a secondary OUTLOOK facility was set up in Puerto Rico in the early 90's, where Yrjo relocated as his health began failing. This site is a storehouse for the most highly-classified of documents (pertaining to the actual Greys themselves), as well as housing Yrjo's new experiments. After relocating, Yrjo was finally inducted into MJ-12 and given full top-secret clearance. With access to the Grey's Cookbook, he's now started a new line of inquiry, codenamed RICOCHET, into mind-altering drugs that can help manipulate and control subjects. These include:
"Red" - Ramps up the body's threat responsive, throwing the subject into an uncontrollable, violent rage.
"Orange" - Causes timed blackouts of up to 12 hours wherein the subject is fully aware of events, but will not be able to recall them later
"Yellow" - Causes full paralysis while the subject remains completely conscious and aware.
"Green" - A powerful hallucinogen that typically causes a violent reaction in subjects. Untraceable.
"Blue" - Causes cardiac arrest, even in strong, healthy subjects. Untraceable.
"Indigo" - Continuous usage causes slow, but irreversible (and eventually fatal) brain damage.
"Violet" - Causes a cascade of failures among the body's normal funtions; food isn't properly digested, waste isn't normally filtered and excreted, ect. Death is inevitable and agonizing.

Yrjo's prior research into stress has been completely standardized into a series of general scenarios, rated from 1.0 to 10.0 correlated to increasing stress put on the subject. To name just a few:
1.0 - Subject informed of the death of a beloved relative and given doctored photos and documents as proof. Subject is cut off from outside communication to prevent verification.
2.0 - Subject is accused of treason and told he'll be tried in a military tribunal (the exact crimes are never specified). Subject is provided with a defense lawyer who is outwardly hostile and clearly believes the subject's guilt.
3.0 - The subject is awoken, given a full breakfast, then led by military officers to a courtyard. Subject is tied to a post and faced with a firing line (soldier's guns are loaded with blanks).
4.0 - Subject is given a paralyzing agent and told he is being recruited for a 'special mission'. Subject is shown a series of photos featuring places the subject has never visited and people the subject has never met while the administrator goes on at length about the subject's exemplary assassination record. At the conclusion, the administrator shows the subject a photo of the president, his 'next target'.
5.0 - Subject is given a paralyzing agent and moved by fake Greys to a fake alien ship, where he is given an intrusive medical examination. He is then returned, unconscious, to his quarters.
6.0 - Subject is given a paralyzing agent while he sleeps. Upon waking, he watches as a team of doctors appears to give him a full autopsy.
7.0 - Subject is rushed into surgery, given a local anesthetic, heavily restrained, and then watches as doctors appear to amputate both of his legs.
8.0 - Subject is drugged while sleeping and transported and subsequently abandoned naked on an uninhabited island in the Bikini Atoll.
9.0 - Subject is shown a doctored video showing the violent execution of a loved one. No explanation is given.
10.0 - Subject awakens in a holding cell with no knowledge of the prior 24 hours. Subject is told they are responsible for a car accident that has killed a loved one, and shown explicit (doctored) photos as proof.
10.1 - Subject is forced at gunpoint to hold a gun to the head of a loved one. Sujbect is given a 3 count and told that if they do not fire, they will be killed. Both guns carry live rounds.

The chapter concludes with a wide variety of ways to work OUTLOOK into a Delta Green campaign. I think my favorite is the PCs being captured (and compromised) but released with no idea they were ever held, only realizing later by odd changes in their behavior and flashbacks they can't explain.


Next time: Phenomen-X

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

InShaneee posted:

The chapter concludes with a wide variety of ways to work OUTLOOK into a Delta Green campaign. I think my favorite is the PCs being captured (and compromised) but released with no idea they were ever held, only realizing later by odd changes in their behavior and flashbacks they can't explain.

This reminds me of a sequence in the Invisibles. And now I'm trying not to think of a Delta Green campaign played through that psychotropic lens, because I'm afraid it would break my brain as slowly and surely as a drip of Indigo would.

Bellicose Buddha
Mar 16, 2009

The tongue like,
A sharp knife,
Kills,
Without drawing blood.
You sure you want to draw yours?

Part of me still loves Old Werewolf. When it was good, it was really good and when it was bad, oh god in heaven. I liked how the game felt in some ways over W:tF, because it just felt more desperate and crazed. W:tF almost feels, I dunno, a little too generic. Don't get me wrong, I love NWoD more than OWoD, but W:tF just doesn't feel quite right some how. Which reminds me, has anyone reviewed any of the End Line books for OWoD? I remember in Gehenna, some of the suggested endings made me laugh. Wish I could find my copy.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



InShaneee posted:

Yrjo's prior research into stress has been completely standardized into a series of general scenarios, rated from 1.0 to 10.0 correlated to increasing stress put on the subject. To name just a few:

You know, some of those stress scenarios seem to be misranked. I think the "experiencing your own autopsy" would rank higher "experiencing your legs being amputated" and especially higher than "dropped off on deserted island".

Drakyn
Dec 26, 2012



Young Freud posted:

You know, some of those stress scenarios seem to be misranked. I think the "experiencing your own autopsy" would rank higher "experiencing your legs being amputated" and especially higher than "dropped off on deserted island".
Yeah, the deserted island doesn't even paralyze you or give you doctored photos. That sounds like a holiday.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Drakyn posted:

Yeah, the deserted island doesn't even paralyze you or give you doctored photos. That sounds like a holiday.

Even number 10 doesn't sound that bad. In fact, it sounds like it should be number 2, but then I don't know where 10.1 would be placed after that.

Really, it should be ranked as facing the death of others, facing imminent death and dismemberment, and actually experiencing your own death and dismemberment.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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





Bellicose Buddha posted:

Part of me still loves Old Werewolf. When it was good, it was really good and when it was bad, oh god in heaven. I liked how the game felt in some ways over W:tF, because it just felt more desperate and crazed. W:tF almost feels, I dunno, a little too generic. Don't get me wrong, I love NWoD more than OWoD, but W:tF just doesn't feel quite right some how. Which reminds me, has anyone reviewed any of the End Line books for OWoD? I remember in Gehenna, some of the suggested endings made me laugh. Wish I could find my copy.

Apocalypse is on my list of things I'd like to F&F, the main problem with it is that it makes a lot of assumptions about the reader's knowledge of Werewolf Cosmology, so I'd need to spend lots of time explaining why thing X is worse than it seems. That and the first scenario is essentially just a payoff for everyone who read all the Tribe Novels and kept with the official campaign from Valkenburg through Across the Heavens


Young Freud posted:

Even number 10 doesn't sound that bad. In fact, it sounds like it should be number 2, but then I don't know where 10.1 would be placed after that.

Really, it should be ranked as facing the death of others, facing imminent death and dismemberment, and actually experiencing your own death and dismemberment.

2 and 3 seem worse than 5, and 10 seems barely worse than 1

10.1 seems like one of those things that would get a 'psychiatrist' thrown in the loony bin.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Kurieg posted:

10.1 seems like one of those things that would get a 'psychiatrist' thrown in the loony bin.

Or killed themselves administering the test, when the subject turns the gun on them regardless if they shot their loved one or not.

JohnnyCanuck
May 28, 2004

Strong And/Or Free


Alien Rope Burn posted:

Fixed that for you. :iamafag:

Freak Legion should probably get done at some point. It's probably the dorkiest RPG supplement ever in that it pretty much makes all the popular kids at school out to be literal monsters. Rifts will probably be keeping me busy for a good while, personally.

In five years, when you get to RIFTS: Canada, let me know. I'll show you were I was put in the book.

Wapole Languray
Jul 4, 2012





I LIVE! Sorry I disappeared for a long rear end time, had to connive a bunch more hours at work to save up for school, but I'm back now!

Habitats

Habitats are where people live in Eclipse Phase. By necessity, everyone lives in fairly concentrated populations, as pretty much everywhere outside of that is either totally inhospitable, or hostile enough to make long-term settlement impossible.

Habitats come in a ton of different forms, depending on cost, location, and the needs of the residents. Let's go over a few, shall we?

Aerostats

Exclusive to Venus, these habs are designed like giant hot-air balloons. By using large open spaces full of human-breathable air, they can “float” on the dense Venusian atmosphere. General construction features a massive “balloon” core that is used both as a flotation device and a public atrium, as it is the largest “safe” space on the habitat. Other structures are built around the “balloon”, with the highest class neighborhoods being near the center, and with the Synthmorph buildings on the outside surface, as they do not need breathable air. Aerostats have the unique feature of being mobile, able to freely move in Venus's atmosphere. Aerostats generally fly a circuit around the planet, moving across mining bases located on the surface to collect raw materials.

Bathyscaphes

Found in the subcrustal seas of Europa, Ceres, and Enceladus. Bathyscaphes are made up of a network of spherical modules connetcted together and anchored to the seafloor by massive cables. Bathyscaphes are designed to withstand massive pressures, and so have much thicker hulls than other types of habitats, making them much harder to breach. Many have partially or totally flooded sections, to accommodate Octomorphs and Neo-Cetaceans living in the habitat.

Beehives

The most common form of habitat in the Belt and other small orbital bodies. Beehives are generally made from mined out asteroids. The surfaces of the mines are sealed with heat or sealant, and the exits and entrances capped with airlocks. This makes beehives a veritable maze of tunnels and chambers, and can be highly confusing to non-residents. Larger beehives use colored markings and signage to aid in navigation, but those converted from mining ops generally lack these convenience features. The biggest advantages of beehives is their low-cost. Their structure is generally “pre-built”, and they need less radiation shielding than other habs due to their metallic-rock structure.

Bernal Spheres

Large hollow spheres where residents live on the inner surface with an atmosphere filled bubble. They are generally spun to create gravity along the equator, and use a series of mirrors to reflect sunlight throughout the structure. Bernal's are rarely used on their own, and are often combined with other types of habitats.



Clusters

Similar to our modern day space-stations. Clusters are networks of modules linked together, and are a popular format for habitats due to their modularity and capability for expansion. Their biggest flaw is structural integrity, and careful preparation is needed to ensure that the hab's inertia doesn't tear itself apart.

LaFrance Rigs

Pseudo habs made up of spacecraft connected by a pyramidal lattice of scaffolds and cables, with power and utilites located in the center of the structure.

Cole Bubbles

Formed by “burning out” the center of an asteroid to create a habitat functionally identical to a Bernal Sphere. The advantage of Cole Bubbles is their size. By using large metallic asteroids, a Cole Bubble can hold up to several million people, while Bernal Spheres top out at a few hundred thousand.

Domes

Most common form of habitat on planetary bodies. They come in both temporary and long-term varieties. Temporary dome habitats are little more than an inflatable bubble, kept rigid due to air pressure where temorary housing is erected. Longer term Domes are made of aerogel, diamon, or similar super-strong material, and can house entire cities such as the Martian New Shanghai.



O'Neill Cylinders

The most iconic form of space habitat, and until recently the most advanced. O'Neill cylinders are a massive cylinder that rotates to produce 1g along the inner surface. They are lit either by long window sections, or by mirrors, suntubes, or artifical light. O'Neill Cylinders are the largest of all space-habitats currently operating, and are capable of near-total autonomy.

Reagan Cylinders

The Jovian answer to the O'Neill cylinder used by other societies. Instead of constructing the outer shell, which would be impossible due to Jovian technology restrictions, they hollow out a captured asteroid in a process similar to beehives. The problem is that the Jovians don't have the technology to make such enclosed habitats pleasant to live in, so they kinda suck rear end and are prone to disease. Everyone else calls them “sarcophagus” habs.

Tin Can

The only ones we actually have today! Think the ISS and you've got it. Thin, cheap construction, small modules, and dirt cheap. Most aren't even built, but inflated. Generally they're considered cheap, crap, and are rarely used outside of fringe isolationists or as a temporary habitat.

Toruses

They essentially work on the same principles of an O'Neill station, but by shortening the cylinder into a “wheel” they can save on cost at the expense of space. Most have a habitat “ring” that rotates around a central “hub” where station facilities and docks are located.
Biological Habitats

Nooot really a place to live, and more fancy art installations. Some of note are the “Dyson Tree” a giant space jellyfish full of water for aquatic morphs, and the famous MeatHab. I'll tell you about that much later.

Carousel

A torus, but instead of a single continuous ring, the wheel is made of multiple connected spheres. As each sphere has its own life support, carousels are much less likely to suffer from catastrophic failure. So far there is only one in existence, Infinite Loop in orbit around Saturn.

Hamilton Cylinders

The successor of the O'Neill cylinder. By using advanced nano-technology, Hamilton cylinders can be almost totally self-sufficient. With three currently operating in the outer system, the next generation of Hamilton cylinders are projected to be capable of interstellar travel as generation-ships.

Matrioshka Sphere

Think the Death Star. A spherical station made up of concentric decks with a reactor at the center.

Processor Locus

Floating space-computers that house infolife. They're basically big servers in space, and the “interior” can be whatever the station runners want.

Next Time: Living in Space

Daetrin
Mar 20, 2013


Speaking of Eclipse Phase, I just found out that one of my favorite internet dudes, Anders Sandberg, wrote a whole bunch of stuff for Eclipse Phase. I enjoy his analytic work but I have no idea if his EP ideas are any good, I'm afraid.

InShaneee
Aug 11, 2006

Cleanse them. Cleanse the world of their ignorance and sin. Bathe them in the crimson of ... am I on speakerphone?

Fun Shoe



Countdown, Chapter 5 - Phenomen-X

Remember Sightings? That's Phenomen-X; a trashy, little watched, late night broadcast show about ghosts, aliens, demons, Elvis sightings, black helicopters, and whatever else they think might grab the attention of whoever's still up (the book actually calls Sightings a "knock-off", which I found cute).

The show was first started in 1990, intended to have the seriousness of 20/20 mixed with the unbelievably of the Weekly World News. Despite shabby research and a pitiful budget, the show did well (for it's 1am slot, anyway) and became something of a fixture, running for a total of 130 episodes before things went off the rails.

In 1997, the show aired the story "Take Me To Your Cracker", about UFO sightings in Groversville, Texas. It was the same garbage they usually aired: blurry lights in the night sky, dumb rednecks talking about alien abduction, ect. Yet in the week that followed the show's airing, nearly every member of the crew that shot the story came down with flu-like symptoms, then died inexplicably. The only survivor was field producer Frank Carincola, who left a cocky, arrogant hollywood type, and came back a haunted man, having seen many things in Groversville that didn't make it to air. After that, Frank was more motivated than ever to find out what was out there, but was forced to watch as the show fell apart over the next several months. One by one, all of the key members of the production staff left for better paying jobs (often without looking for them), and the production company considered just shutting the whole thing down. However, they allowed Frank to take over the show, and he's been trying to hold things together ever since. Today, the show is staffed by a skeleton crew (compared to its former glory). Everyone working there is either fanatically dedicated to Frank's quest, or completely unqualified to be working anywhere else. Frank manages to keep things moving, though, mostly due to a series of recent anonymous tips that have taken him to some very promising leads.

The Phenomen-X studio, located just outside of Los Angeles, used to be a storehouse for movie props, and now, after a shoestring renovation, is little more than a tin shack with bad A/C and worse toilets. Very little work actually goes on in the studio, though, as most of the work is done on the road by crews on-location hunting for stories and footage. At present, they have a staff of approximately 26, though many of those are just researchers or unpaid interns. Of these, only Carincola and a very few people have actually had real encounters with the paranormal, but they've all been changed by it, and are careful who they send out to some investigations.

So what happened at Groversville, you might be wondering? That's actually a callback to "Convergence", the starter campaign scenario from the Delta Green corebook. I'll try to write it up sometime, but the short version is the Mi-Go were using the entire town as a testing grounds into the human psyche. When Delta Green busted up their operation, they attempted to cover their tracks by activating a virus they'd been dumping into the town's water, which the Phenomen-X crew had all drank during their week-long shoot (save Frank, a health nut who brought his own bottled). While an entire town dying of the flu should have been national news, MJ-12 did a very neat job of keeping it under wraps.

And those annonymous tips? Oh, those are the best part. Half of them come from none other than Delta Green themselves. After bumping into Phenomen-X in Groversville, DG has been using them as a litmus test to see if an incident is worth their time. If Phenomen-X starts investigating, and camera crew start dying, they'll send in a team to neutralize the threat. Otherwise, hey, they'll get some footage out of it either way. And the rest of the tips? Why, those are from MJ-12! Yes, they're also using Phenomen-X. In their case, if MJ-12 suspects DG is nosing around somewhere, they'll tip of Phenomen-X in the hopes that their cameras and inquisitive reporters will hamper, harass, or possibly even expose the DG agents, all while keeping a healthy level of separation from MJ-12 themselves. And no one at Pheonmen-X has any idea about this, except Frank, who feels pretty sure his sources are coming from "deep within the government". Poor thing.

The chapter ends with the incredibly rad idea of running a campaign as a Phenomen-X crew, and even includes new rules for Videography and Video Production skills.


Next time: TIGER TRANSIT

clockworkjoe
May 31, 2000

Rolled a 1 on the random encounter table, didn't you?

Daetrin posted:

Speaking of Eclipse Phase, I just found out that one of my favorite internet dudes, Anders Sandberg, wrote a whole bunch of stuff for Eclipse Phase. I enjoy his analytic work but I have no idea if his EP ideas are any good, I'm afraid.

I played in one of his scenarios and recorded it: http://actualplay.roleplayingpublicradio.com/2011/09/genre/horror/eclipse-phase-think-before-asking/

It was fun and a very cool scenario!

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


quote:

The chapter ends with the incredibly rad idea of running a campaign as a Phenomen-X crew, and even includes new rules for Videography and Video Production skills.

Why does this sound like the most fun way to play Delta Green?

InfiniteJesters
Jan 26, 2012


Count Chocula posted:

Why does this sound like the most fun way to play Delta Green?

Because it's basically Scooby Doo except the monsters are all too real.

Also because Kolchak.

InShaneee
Aug 11, 2006

Cleanse them. Cleanse the world of their ignorance and sin. Bathe them in the crimson of ... am I on speakerphone?

Fun Shoe

Count Chocula posted:

Why does this sound like the most fun way to play Delta Green?

I'm tempted to say it is. You're basically playing a series of found footage movies.

Lightning Lord
Feb 21, 2013

$200 a day, plus expenses



Kurieg posted:

I wasn't introduced to Apocalypse until revised, shortly before they ended the line. I never read any of the older books until I started hearing about how hilariously bad they were. I still like the game though.

There are basically two different segments of the Old World of Darkness, pre-revised, and revised.
(The differences between 1st and 2nd edition werewolf were almost entirely math fixes and turning renown into a dot system rather than a granular scale that went into the hundreds of thousands) White Wolf had a reorganization in the late 90s, Bridges got moved onto Mage, and Skemp took over in his place.

Revised got rid of a lot of the super captain-planety stuff. The villains were still evil, but the straight up puppy kicking is gone. The New Book of the Wyrm and the Pentex books are actually pretty good while maintaining a sense of humor where appropriate. Book of the Weaver is surprisingly nuanced, and has villains that are otherwise completely mortal.

It's just a lot more fun to dig up the old shame books and poke holes in them.

It just plain sucks that the badness of the earlier editions of the OWoD games has overshadowed how good they were post-Revised and reduced them to punchlines in a lot of people's eyes. They still had some bad content, but it wasn't wall to wall like it was in the Old Days.

Kindred of the East and Hengeyokai are pre-Revised, just saying!

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




Count Chocula posted:

Why does this sound like the most fun way to play Delta Green?

Play it like Paranoia, only instead of backup clones, you play a group of similar-looking unnamed interns.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Bellicose Buddha posted:

Part of me still loves Old Werewolf. When it was good, it was really good and when it was bad, oh god in heaven. I liked how the game felt in some ways over W:tF, because it just felt more desperate and crazed. W:tF almost feels, I dunno, a little too generic. Don't get me wrong, I love NWoD more than OWoD, but W:tF just doesn't feel quite right some how.

I think part of it is that Werewolf: the Fallen is a far tighter experience. You play one thing (werewolves) with a much more limited purview and smaller list of tribes, and the tribes it does have are much more vague. What's more, the powers are largely centered around the werewolf theme, as opposed to Apocalypse, which has werewolves becoming porcupines, becoming magic computer hackers, or turning into the sun. Apocalypse has a lot of precooked concepts for you to play, whereas Fallen really requires you to have your own concept and the splats just aren't defining elements.

I think Fallen is just a much more mature and well-conceived game, which is a bit to its detriment, because Apocalypse was an aggressively lowbrow game (it has an evil company mass market a slime toy that eats children, after all), and as such, Fallen just can't attract the same audience.

JohnnyCanuck posted:

In five years, when you get to RIFTS: Canada, let me know. I'll show you were I was put in the book.

Why wait? Even if we keep up our current unsustainable rate of eight books a year, it'll still be... another four years or so! Instead, you could bring it up in the Palladium Thread right now. Kind of surprised I haven't seen your puppet-ness there yet.

Lightning Lord posted:

It just plain sucks that the badness of the earlier editions of the OWoD games has overshadowed how good they were post-Revised and reduced them to punchlines in a lot of people's eyes. They still had some bad content, but it wasn't wall to wall like it was in the Old Days.

The quality takes an uptick in Revised (the metaplot aside...), but at the same time a lot of the same core problems linger. It's not so much that the older versions cast a long shadow and more the issue that the newer versions weren't fundamentally different games. An argument can be made for Mage being significantly altered, I think, but all of its changes in tone are undermined by the preexisting world elements and mechanics.

Alien Rope Burn fucked around with this message at 20:34 on Aug 7, 2013

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Alien Rope Burn posted:

I think part of it is that Werewolf: the Fallen is a far tighter experience. You play one thing (werewolves) with a much more limited purview and smaller list of tribes, and the tribes it does have are much more vague. What's more, the powers are largely centered around the werewolf theme, as opposed to Apocalypse, which has werewolves becoming porcupines, becoming magic computer hackers, or turning into the sun. Apocalypse has a lot of precooked concepts for you to play, whereas Fallen really requires you to have your own concept and the splats just aren't defining elements.

This is really why I prefer the NWoD, especially as it relates to Changeling. It isn't as mired in horrible in-splat, between-splat, and real-life stereotypes, or rely on the same ridiculous power-inflation and metaplot progression.

I don't know if I can really qualify it as more generic than OWoD or not-- of the contemporary-setting corebooks, I only remember Changeling as defining the world beyond 'it's like ours, only a whole lot shittier'. It's explicitly a framework, rather than an accreted canon like the OWoD games were even at the launch of Revised. Changeling spends a fair amount of space detailing the Seasonal Courts, but it's as much example as RAW: the book takes pains to point out that there are other, equally valid and effective methods for inculcating coping strategies and a sense of community among the Lost.

And there's a Palladium megathread? How have I missed that bad boy for this long?

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

InShaneee posted:



Countdown, Chapter 5 - Phenomen-X

Next time: TIGER TRANSIT


My favorite part of Delta Green. It is just so evil.

Pussy Cartel
Jun 26, 2011





Lipstick Apathy

Alien Rope Burn posted:

I think part of it is that Werewolf: the Fallen is a far tighter experience. You play one thing (werewolves) with a much more limited purview and smaller list of tribes, and the tribes it does have are much more vague. What's more, the powers are largely centered around the werewolf theme, as opposed to Apocalypse, which has werewolves becoming porcupines, becoming magic computer hackers, or turning into the sun. Apocalypse has a lot of precooked concepts for you to play, whereas Fallen really requires you to have your own concept and the splats just aren't defining elements.

I think Fallen is just a much more mature and well-conceived game, which is a bit to its detriment, because Apocalypse was an aggressively lowbrow game (it has an evil company mass market a slime toy that eats children, after all), and as such, Fallen just can't attract the same audience.

It's Werewolf: the Forsaken. And yeah, it really is a far more mature game and, not only that, a much more local game, focusing less on running all over the world while fighting the big bads and more on dealing with problems and even politics in your home region, which seems to be a common theme across most of the nWoD games (except for Promethean).

pospysyl
Nov 10, 2012

SO EMBARRASSING



Bieeardo posted:

This is really why I prefer the NWoD, especially as it relates to Changeling. It isn't as mired in horrible in-splat, between-splat, and real-life stereotypes, or rely on the same ridiculous power-inflation and metaplot progression.

I don't know if I can really qualify it as more generic than OWoD or not-- of the contemporary-setting corebooks, I only remember Changeling as defining the world beyond 'it's like ours, only a whole lot shittier'. It's explicitly a framework, rather than an accreted canon like the OWoD games were even at the launch of Revised. Changeling spends a fair amount of space detailing the Seasonal Courts, but it's as much example as RAW: the book takes pains to point out that there are other, equally valid and effective methods for inculcating coping strategies and a sense of community among the Lost.

And there's a Palladium megathread? How have I missed that bad boy for this long?

In the Heinsoo/Tweet Q&A thread, they talked about different ways to engage players with the game world. The Masquerade clans and the Werewolf tribes were methods of doing that. Forsaken doesn't have anything as effective as that to hook players in. The Apocalypse writers put a lot of effort in justifying and engaging werewolf PCs. Forsaken just states, "these are werewolves. They fight spirits. Go," which just doesn't add up. Without the tribes, there's no established flavor to any of the splats, just vague political notions. The success of the Changeling Seasonal Courts illustrate this. They're all directly engaged with the main (and really only) setting hook of the game: the Fae. There's nothing really guiding the Uratha to actually doing anything with what are supposed to be their core antagonists. Forsaken is the only nWoD game that is definitively worse than its oWoD counterpart.

Forsaken is also the game where learning from your mistakes is literally magic, so there's that.

Erebro
Apr 28, 2013


Pussy Cartel posted:

It's Werewolf: the Forsaken. And yeah, it really is a far more mature game and, not only that, a much more local game, focusing less on running all over the world while fighting the big bads and more on dealing with problems and even politics in your home region, which seems to be a common theme across most of the nWoD games (except for Promethean).

Unfortunately, the rules suck, and as pospysyl mentioned, there's no real engagement the Urathra have with the setting-it's possible to entirely ignore the fact the Shadow exists or that there's a political aspect to territories, while in Changeling (for instance), the reason why you're part fae in the first place is that you were enslaved by the ultimate villains of the setting, but escaped.

God-Machine Chronicle has its failings (I'm looking at you, uber-high Defense), but the opportunity to hammer Forsaken into something halfway decent via its own version of Blood and Smoke is not one of them.

Erebro fucked around with this message at 07:07 on Aug 8, 2013

InShaneee
Aug 11, 2006

Cleanse them. Cleanse the world of their ignorance and sin. Bathe them in the crimson of ... am I on speakerphone?

Fun Shoe



Countdown, Chapter 6 - Tiger Transit

Tiger Transit is a smallish international shipping company. But of course, you've watched TV, so you know anyone in the 'import/export business' is likely up to no good. Boy howdy, you have no idea.

Alright, let's start with the CIA. The CIA has always been a fan of creating front companies to operate under the guise of civilian business, and when they formed Tiger Transit in 1965, it was no exception. Tiger was operated and (legally) owned by two ex-CIA agents, Vincent Bisagne and Ronald Toddhunter. The company was used to move goods of questionable legality, from aid supplies to embargoed countries to weapons and ammunition to foreign warzones. Following the fall of the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua, the CIA needed to scale back it's budget, and sold off Tiger Transit to then-CEO Joseph Berg, who continued operating as a private shipping company. The CIA would still occasionally ask Berg to run operations off-the-books, and in return, they looked the other way for whatever Tiger happened to be shipping privately (which, at the time, included mountains of drugs from South American Contras). Today, Tiger has offices in 6 major cities across the US, with Chicago's Midway Airport being used as it's primary hub. About 94% of their present business is legal, but Tiger keeps kickbacks flowing to the US Customs Service to cover the rest. Tiger has become a trusted name in the (secret) black books of the government, private corporations, and organized crime, all of whom rely on Tiger when they absolutely need something unique shipped behind the backs of officials. The CIA, though, hasn't used Tiger for almost a decade. This is likely because the CIA doesn't want to be associated with the kinds of people Tiger now regularly does business with. Of course, it might also be because of the Tcho-Tchos.



AAGH


I should probably back up a bit. The Tcho-Tcho are a nationless race, tainted through-and-through by a history of cannibalism and Mythos worship. Their precise origins are unknown, though records of them exists from as far back as 128 BC; the Greeks called them the Tochoa, and Chinese knew them as the Yueh-chih. While the greatest concentration of Tcho-Tcho today can be found in Communist Asia, the Red Cultural Revolution forced many to relocate. A large group of them fled to the US under the cover of "fleeing communist oppression" and set up shop in Chicago, where the current population is mostly second generation. The INS lists them as "Chauchas", an obscure Malaysian tribe. The few older residents of various Asian communities that know who they really are tend to keep that to themselves. The Tcho-Tchos community is currently centered around the worship of Shogoran, an avatar of Nyarlathotep, and lives in the shadows of New Chinatown.

In the late 1980s, the Tcho-Tcho made a play to wipe out all those that remembered who they were (or found out that they still practiced cannibalism) by summoning hideous creatures known as the Children of Shugoran. This eventually brought the attention of Delta Green, who dropped the hammer on their entire cult. Nearly every adult Tcho-Tcho was either killed or 'deported' to Malaysia, while the naturalized children were placed in orphanages. But of course, they missed one: an ancient shaman named Huong Xan. Xan had used cannibalistic rituals to keep himself alive for centuries, but had been mortally wounded in a DG attack, and knew that going to a hospital would merely draw a DG cleanup crew straight to him. Instead, he arranged for one of his direct descendants, Cho Chu-tsao, to perform the permanent version of the Consume Memories spell on him, devouring his brain and gaining his knowledge. Xan's plan was for Chu-tsao to find a Tcho-Tcho man of great will and devotion to the Elder Gods, teach him the Consume Memories spell, have him devour HER brains, and use Xan's knowledge to lead the Tcho-Tcho to a new beginning. Chu-tsao decided that sounded like bullshit, and set about using Xan's wisdom to reunited and rebuild the Tcho-Tcho in Chicago on her own. Chu-tsao imagined a future where the Tcho-Tcho ruled the American Triads and Tongs with their own occult power, and to that end, reorganized the Tcho-Tcho as a sort of occult mafia under the name Tong Shugoran. But she knew she'd need help. Which led her to Joseph Berg.

Berg's connection to the Tcho-Tcho came from the Vietnam war. While working with Air America in Cambodia, his plane was shot down, and he ended up living with a Tcho-Tcho tribe for several months (where he was also tainted by their exotic drugs). Upon his return, Berg told the CIA that the Tcho-Tcho were fighting back against the communists (which was true; the communist regime had destroyed one of their holy sites near Ho Chi Minh city, and they were pissed about it), and suggested the CIA provide them weapons and aide, a suggestion they eagerly took. They also sent Green Berets to train them, though that didn't go as well after the troops found the Tcho-Tcho using the CIA's arms to slaughter neighboring tribes (the CIA ignored their reports). Delta Green became aware of the situation and tried to stop it, though in the end, they had to result in forging a set of orders, resulting in the 'accidental' carpet bombing of the Tcho-Tcho village. After the war, Berg became and obsessive collector of all things Tcho-Tcho, but didn't think he'd ever be able to experience what they'd shown him again until Chu-tsao found him. When Chu-tsao showed him that she knew how to make the drugs he'd experienced in Vietnam, he was all hers. Berg began hiring all the Tcho-Tcho he could, even sending them to trade school to learn to fly and service aircraft, eventually pushing out nearly all non-Tcho-Tcho workers. Then, Berg handed power of attorney over to Chu-tsao, and drifted off into a drug-addled haze somewhere. With Berg's assets, Chu-tsao was able to track down some more 'native' Tcho-Tchos and get the raw materials to start making their traditional drug in bulk. Why? To dilute the hell out of it and sell it on the streets as a new drug, Reverb. Reverb has the effect of distorting the user's perception of time and also, in higher doses, sending the user's conciousness back through time (though not nearly to the degree the original product would). It's also, of course, accompanied by a general feeling of euphoria, and is already making inroads in the club scene.

Tiger Transit gave Chu-tsao the clout she needed, so she started moving upwards. By making the company available for use to the Chicago mafia, she gained both their protection and their muscle (particularly important since some in the Tong have found out about the Tcho-Tcho's less savory habits and wouldn't mind doing the world a favor if they found one). With Tiger Transit being primarily used to build alliances, Reverb has become the cult's main source of income (though again, they find themselves primarily selling to whites in the suburbs, since anyone in town who knows of the Tcho-Tcho stay the hell away). And, as with any good gang, they've started opening up a series of 'legitimate businesses' all over Chinatown to help launder all their newfound riches.

The party ground to a halt in 1996, when Chu-tsao recieved word that the Malaysian Tcho-Tchos were cutting off her supply of Black Lotus, the primary ingredient in Reverb (they found out their sacred drug was being used to get teenagers stoned, and were pissed). Chu-tsao needed a plan, and she needed one before her supplies ran out. Unfortunately for her, the Black Lotus was a very finicky plant, and would be difficult to impossible to cultivate stateside. Wracking Xan's memories for ideas, she hit upon something involving Shub-Niggurath. She would draw forth the 'milk' of Shub-Niggurath and use it to nurture the plants, which she believed would make them grow hardier, faster, and far more potent than before. But Chu-tsao would still need someone to cultivate the plant. For that, she prayed to Nyarlathotep to show her the path. What she saw was one of Tiger Transit's clients: Genetic Agricultural Products, Incorporated.

GAP was formed in the late 1980's to market GM crops; a swiftly growing field, but one they could never quite get in front of. The company struggled until it crossed paths with one Cynthia Dexter. Dexter was a higher up in a hippy new age self-actualization program called the Brotherhood of New Potential, which, of course, secretly worshiped Shub-Niggurath. The Brotherhood was, in fact, the new, friendlier face of a pagan free-love sect from the 60's called the True Love Study Group. The TLSG inducted dozens with their human-sacrificing rituals until half their leadership was locked up for murder in 1977. Twelve years later, several former memebers reformed the group as the Brotherhood, using the front of new-age medicine (this was California we're talking about) to hide their more unsavory activities (and to fund them). It was through these fronts that Dexter found Matthew Lewis, then CEO of GAP. Lewis was deeply depressed over GAP's financial woes, and was thus easy for Dexter to manipulate. Dexter saw similarities between the gene modifying work GAP did and the horrendous mutations caused by Shug-Niggurath's milk, and saw a way to help them both. In return for a share of the company, Dexter provided Lewis with a sample of the milk. GAP was confounded (and somewhat terrified) of what they found. It was a mutagen that was also a growth hormone, and while its effects were measurable, the mechanism it worked on was inexplicable. The staff took every precaution, but against the literal mana of an Elder God, that meant absolutely poo poo, and before long, the whole lab was seeing things the Brotherhood's way. And what did they eventually come up with? A new strain of tobacco they called Fumo Loco.

GAP had been looking for a way to make low-tar cigarettes without lowering the nicotine content, but for that, they needed a strain of tobacco with a high nicotine content to begin with. Shub-Niggurath's milk made that happen, as well as cutting growth time from five months to five weeks, and enabling it to grow in just about any climate. GAP partnered with the Manly-Heath tobacco company, who then used Tiger Transit to export tons of the Fumo Loco seed to Brazil for cultivation. There, the tobacco stalks grew over twice as high as regular plants; M-H stood to make a fortune. But after a scandal where the USDA took down a different tobacco firm for exporting seed, M-H got cold feet and backed out, leaving GAP holding the bag. GAP knew they had the next big thing, but they needed a partner less encumbered by the law. Right about here, coincidentally, was when Chu-tsao showed up. Lewis, growing desperate by now, was all too eager to trade cash for cultivated Lotuses. Chu-tsao was set...at least until demand for Reverb went into orbit. The new Reverb, nurished on Shub-Niggurath's milk, was, indeed, even more potent, with the side effect of being as addictive as crack cocaine.

Come 1998, Chu-tsao was looking to move up to the bigtime by partnering with some of Tiger Transit's old drug cartel contacts south of the border. With the cartel cultivating the Lotus in huge fields and selling to eager South American markets, the Tong would be rolling in cash. What Chu-tsao brought to the cartels she called Coca Loco: a coca-Lotus hybrid that had double the cocaine content with only half the growing time required. The logistics were impressive: they'd be able to cut farming overhead down to a quarter, and smaller amounts with higher potency would be much easier to smuggle. The families were excited, but wanted one final test: a test field was planted, and if its potency is as advertised, they'll buy in in a big way. If this happens, it will be a matter of months before the US is drowning under cheap, high-potency, Mythos-tainted cocaine.

This is the point where our old friend Berg tripped out on milk-fed purestrain Tcho-Tcho drug and royally pissed off a Hound of Tindalos.



SHAFT IN HARLEM!


See, the pure drug (Liao) sends your conciousness back in time. When Berg mistakenly took some of the milk-fed Liao, he get thrown all the way back to the formation of the Earth, where he accidentally caught the attention of a Hound. Berg snapped back immediately, but he had an inkling the Hound would come for him, so he begged Chu-tsao for help. This was extremely inconvenient for Chu-tsao; Berg was still the majority stakeholder of Tiger Transit, and if he got himself eaten, his shares would be willed to his relatives. Changing his will to benefit Chu-tsao would just raise a lot of suspicion. Chu-tsao had no idea how to get permanent control of the company, but she would need it (desperately) to get Coca Loco across the border very soon. In the meantime, the Hound would need to be stalled. Using Xan's knowledge again, Chu-tsao discovered that Hounds manifested from angled surfaces. So, she put up Berg in a custom designed manor where every surface and furnishing was made into a smooth curve. Now, the Hound can't manifest in the house, and it's unwilling to do so in the open outside, so as long as Berg stays put, he should be safe. While the Hound is lying in wait, though, it's noticed the temporal shenanigans of the Reverb users around town, and has begun hunting them to bide its time. At this point, there's enough Reverb users that even killing Berg likely wouldn't cause the Hound to leave. This, however, isn't quite a perfect situation: Chu-tsao can't really have her customer base getting slaughtered, but she doesn't have powerful enough mojo to get the thing to leave. She's reached out to Stephen Alzis (you remember him) for help, but what he'll do, and at what cost, is anyone's guess.

"But what does all this MEAN?", you cry out in desperation, drowning in words. Well, what we've got here is something pretty unique. It's a mythos cult, sure, but not nearly as old and powerful as most Delta Green might run into. It's a mythos organization, but one big and complex enough that it could support a full campaign as a team tries to unravel all the links and plots. It's got lots of ins, depending on how your group rolls, and hey, it's even easy to adapt for an alternate campaign (Phenomen-X: Live from Chicago!).


Next time: the Keepers of the Faith, religious ghouls trying to keep it together in Manhattan.

Wrestlepig
Feb 25, 2011

my mum says im cool



Toilet Rascal

So the Hound of Tindalos can travel through time, but not circles. Now that's non-euclidian.

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine


Yup. In the original story a guy gets tries to escape the hounds by turning his room into an egg shape, which works until a bit of plaster gives way and boop he's gone. The Hounds are the Time Cops of the Mythos, blind hungering things that exist in the avenues of time that you travel when you go backwards.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Pussy Cartel posted:

It's Werewolf: the Forsaken. And yeah, it really is a far more mature game and, not only that, a much more local game, focusing less on running all over the world while fighting the big bads and more on dealing with problems and even politics in your home region, which seems to be a common theme across most of the nWoD games (except for Promethean).

I have half the game line on my shelf and kept typing that. I've read it and-

Really, I know what I'm talking about, honest.

Down With People
Oct 31, 2012

The child delights in violence.


InShaneee posted:



Countdown, Chapter 6 - Tiger Transit

Tiger Transit is my favourite thing in Countdown, and everyone should get Countdown because of how loving cool Tiger Transit is.

Even though it's not really a scenario, you can run it as one with no effort. The agents find all these horrible Hound murders, then they discover the drugs, then they keep finding out all these layers to the conspiracy until it becomes sorely tempting to just blow half of Chicago off the map to get rid of these terribly well-organised cults (and the book tells you how to do that!).

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

InShaneee posted:

This is the point where our old friend Berg tripped out on milk-fed purestrain Tcho-Tcho drug and royally pissed off a Hound of Tindalos.

This is the point where I began to boom with supervillainous laughter.

Though for some reason, it never really clicked for me that the Milk of the Dark Mother really is a sort of manna. Weird, because the At Your Door series of adventures (which feature Her worship and the Milk strongly) had a strong formative effect on my conception of the modern Mythos.

Goddamn, Tiger Transit is awesome. Taking the Tcho Tcho from just being creepy little minions with an annoying, sneaky SAN-draining trick, and turning them into a serious modern menace. I love it! You know. In that vaguely horrified way.

Bieeanshee fucked around with this message at 17:03 on Aug 8, 2013

DAD LOST MY IPOD
Feb 3, 2012

Fats Dominar is on the case





Sorry for the delay everyone! I went to a wedding across the country.
Return to the TOMB OF HORRORS part 8: Moil, Moil, City of Toil

So, when last we left our heroes, they were poisoned, skewered, crushed, exploded, electrocuted, melted, asphyxiated, hacked, burned, turned to green slime, made into idiots, had their gender and alignment reversed, stripped of their gear, annihilated and had their souls sucked out. But we're, like, so over that, because now we're in MOIL!

Some background: I mentioned this earlier, but to reiterate. Moil was once a city on the Prime Material world of Ranais (exceptionally spergin PCs will remember this world from Dead Gods, the Planescape adventure, as a place of Orcus worship). The Moilians were extremely advanced in both science and magic, but also very cruel and twisted-- they worshipped Orcus, after all! Gradually, though, they grew sick of their evil, capricious god and switched to ones less dedicated to fuckery. Orcus found their lack of faith... disturbing, and cursed them to sleep in a deathlike state until the light of the sun hit them. He then cast Moil into a private demiplane where no sun shone, dooming them to slow death in their sleep. One by one, the Moilians died, and their city crumbled around them, preserved by the bitter cold.

Until Acererak found it.

Fascinated by the unique Moilian zombies that the demiplane generated, Acererak experimented in Moil for a while, restoring parts of it to a "functional" state and using most of the inhabitants as labor to build his Fortress of Conclusion in the Negative Energy Plane. He then set it up as the next "leg" in his challenge to adventurers, for those who survived his original TOMB OF HORRORS. Moil is now full of the kind of devious traps that Acererak is known for, plus the remains of its original inhabitants-- not just their zombified forms, but the remnants of their culture, for Moil was an evil place indeed before its fall and bits of that remain.

Moil is laid out as a series of towers, like so:

Before I go into detail about the exact locations and puzzles, a few notes.

First, the Dark Intrusion is stronger in Moil than outside.
Undead are turned as four categories higher. Spells from the Necromancy school take 4 fewer units of time to cast. Living creatures rat-size or larger have and 80% chance of spontaneously animating as zombies within 1d3 rounds. Healing spells are only 75% effective, and finally, the city is supernaturally cold; you must make a Constitution check at -4 every 6 years or take 1hp damage.

Secondly, due to Moil's status as a pocket demiplane, some weird stuff happens. The "borders" of the city are a wall of writhing black fog; stepping through it earns you a one-way ticket to the Negative Energy Plane. As a reminder, this is the most hostile place in the multiverse, worse than the Abyss. There's nothing to breathe, so you immediately start suffocating. Life energy is drained from you at a rate of 2d6 hp/round. Dying this way means no resurrection of any kind is ever possible and also you become an Undead. Magical items lose two pluses, spells that cause damage cause the maximum amount while healing spells heal the minimum, anything created here with magic crumbles in a single round, and you can't conjure/summon from anywhere but the negative quasielemental planes (Ash, Dust, Vacuum and Salt). It's a death sentence. Flying up into the "clouds" above Moil gives you a 45% chance each round of being struck by a bolt of lightning for 10d6 damage with no save. The Vestige haunts Moil, and every four hours the PCs have a 20% chance of running into it; this is a "supposed to lose" fight and they had best run away if they want to live because the thing is loving tough.

So, here we are. A vast, dark city, wreathed in black fog and grey clouds, lit by colossal lightning flashes. Bone-achingly cold, it's a city of narrow metal spires and fragile-looking bridges, haunted by beings of negative energy, the undead remains of its inhabitants, and one horrific monstrosity born from the fear and misery of thousands of dying people.

Welcome to Moil.

We arrive in location one. You stand on a BRIDGE. Before you stands a RUSTED IRON OBELISK. Exits are to the EAST, WEST and SOUTH. It is really loving COLD. There's BATS or something in the sky, I don't know. I HATE it here already.
>read Obelisk
"Acererak is impressed; you now stand under the darkling sky that most never dreamt of. Your only path is forward through this crumbling demiplane of broken piety. The journey shall task you to your mortal limits. However, this verse may help you on your way to me within the Void, where you shall receive a fitting prize for your persistence:

The City That Waits was the city of Moil
Where dreams truly died, but bodies yet toil
In slumber unrelenting they lie yet in wait
Biding their time to seal your fate.

Discovery of the Void and my Fortress within
Demands exploration through peril again.
Find amid towers degenerate the single key
And resolve the dilemma of problems three.

Beard the brine dragon in its frozen hollow;
Remove the Key, avoid its starved swallow.
Beneath webs of glowing emerald
Hangs a riddle-box, ripe to be solved.

The darkweaver endures the cold in her lair;
Grasp your fate with consummate care.
The lifeless dream that marks the crime
Is the Vestige that guards the sands of time.

Each resolution removes one obstacle
For those who peruse this written oracle:
The Phantom released flies you in fashion
To my inevitable Fortress of Conclusion.

So, here we are on the bridge. The negative fundamentals swarm around overhead; they're annoying but not dangerous, unless they push you off the bridge, in which case sucks to be you. I'll start us off with the tower marked 2 on the map, the Tower of Morning.

It's mostly a rubble-choked ruin, and what's not tumbled stone is covered in a layer of ice; an open doors roll is required to break the ice and open each door. Unlike many of the other towers, only one level here is available. In fact, flying or otherwise clever PCs who manage to get to other layers somehow realize that they are empty; the tower's a hollow shell except this one part. Acererak's magic preserves the ruined city in even the lovely state it's in-- without it it would have collapsed long ago.
The arched doorway leading into the building is covered with frost, through which a carving of a sunrise is visible. Rubbing off the ice the get a better look gives you the idea that it's a sunset, not a sunrise-- and makes you save vs. spell at -5 or be affected by the curse of Moil, i.e. you fall asleep until the sun hits you! Remove curse gives you another save at -5, if you fail then it's lights out and not even a wish will wake you up. You gotta get in the sunlight, and there's no sun here.

Inside the chamber is a room with a lovely mural.

Touching a panel makes it glow dimly. Only one can glow at once-- touching another makes the glow in the first fade. They all depict a pastoral scene with a road and with the sun at a different position-- rising, noon, setting, etc. The paintings are marked with runes in ancient Moilian; while it's theoretically possible a PC knows it, yeah, no. Comprehend languages or similar reveals that they say "Manifest the power of the Wand of Days."

Next room is empty but coated in frost-- except for one bare patch on the floor, human-shaped, covered in bits of ice. Something pulled itself out of the ice here...

Next room used to be full of statues. Now, it's full of smashed statues. The floor is covered in stone arms, legs, torsos and heads, all rimed in the everpresent frost; it's very disconcerting. On the eastern side of the room, PCs spot an un-smashed statue. Actually, it's a Moilian zombie, and getting within 20 feet of it causes it to "activate," springing to life and draining the PCs of hp every round as Moilian zombies do. It pulls itself free and attacks. As a refresher, Moilian zombies are usually quiescent, but have a constant 20-foot radius life drain effect (in addition to a suite of cold-based powers and immunities). This is how they activate, and once they run out of hp they go back into sleep mode unless really hacked apart or similar. Anyways, this one has simple clothing, a non-magical headband with a carving of the rising sun on a metal disk, and 46 Moilian platinum pieces; they have towers on one side and Orcus's face on the other.

Next room is the Seat of the Long View, a stone chair in front of a window into the outer darkness. The Sect of the Morning Sun was based here, and this group was responsible for turning Moil away from Orcus. Too bad about how all that turned out. They focused their contemplation and adoration on the sun, so Orcus decided that if they thought the sun would save them, why not make it so? And so they died, waiting for the sun. Sitting in the seat whilst wearing the zombie's headband lights you up for an instant like a sunrise; you are suddenly invigorate as from a full night's sleep, and you regain 3 hp and can rememorize spells. Only once per PC per 24 hours. Sadly, the throne had more cool powers, but none of the keys survived.

Proceeding northwest, the PCs enter a hallway where the ice has grown very thickly into pillars, stalactites and stalagmites. Every 10 feet you travel, you have a 20% chance of dislodging an icicle; save vs. breath weapon or take 1d4 damage. Not crippling, but flavorful. The door at the end is frozen solid and requires magic or hard work to open.

Next room is filled with layers of ice, reducing its size to a ten-foot cube. In the center is a pedestal, topped with a vise holding a wooden wand. If the PCs touched any of the sun art panels in the previous room, runes on the pedestal and wand glow; the runes on the pedestal say "The choice of Days empowers the wand, but the choice cannot be made from here." The wand says "Kindle" on the side (all of this is in Moilian, of course). "Kindle" in any language is the command word, and causes the wand to shed light in a 50-foot radius for two rounds. The light is exactly identical to the light of the sun at the time of day indicated by the currently glowing panel, and functions as such for all purposes (injuring vampires, lifting the Moil curse etc). If the PCs chose the "sunrise" panel, Panel 2, triggering the wand instantly destroys any Moilian zombie in the radius as the curse is ended and its spirit is set free. The wand has ten charges and can be recharged once a week at the pedestal. This is the most important item in the entire adventure-- fortunately it's hard to miss.

The following chamber is a library without books (they all rotted years ago) and a Moilian zombie. Anticlimactic!

I will post more on the other towers later, but for now I will leave you with this.
Next time: Casinos and Bus Stations, Moil has Everything!

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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





DAD LOST MY IPOD posted:

the city is supernaturally cold; you must make a Constitution check at -4 every 6 years or take 1hp damage.

Compared to everything else the city has going on, 1 damage every 6 years seems like more of an annoyance than anything else.

DAD LOST MY IPOD
Feb 3, 2012

Fats Dominar is on the case




Kurieg posted:

Compared to everything else the city has going on, 1 damage every 6 years seems like more of an annoyance than anything else.

Haha, it's supposed to be hours, nice catch. It's still basically an annoyance and it's more for flavor than anything else.

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

Humbug Scoolbus posted:

My favorite part of Delta Green. It is just so evil.

I have used variations on Tiger Transport in SpyCraft, Top Secret SI, and Alternity Dark Matter. It is such a wonderful plot device.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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





DAD LOST MY IPOD posted:

Haha, it's supposed to be hours, nice catch. It's still basically an annoyance and it's more for flavor than anything else.

Yeah, only 1 damage at any interval not measured in rounds is essentially just going to be an annoyance, the idea of it being measured in years just made it hilarious.

pospysyl posted:

In the Heinsoo/Tweet Q&A thread, they talked about different ways to engage players with the game world. The Masquerade clans and the Werewolf tribes were methods of doing that. Forsaken doesn't have anything as effective as that to hook players in. The Apocalypse writers put a lot of effort in justifying and engaging werewolf PCs. Forsaken just states, "these are werewolves. They fight spirits. Go," which just doesn't add up. Without the tribes, there's no established flavor to any of the splats, just vague political notions. The success of the Changeling Seasonal Courts illustrate this. They're all directly engaged with the main (and really only) setting hook of the game: the Fae. There's nothing really guiding the Uratha to actually doing anything with what are supposed to be their core antagonists. Forsaken is the only nWoD game that is definitively worse than its oWoD counterpart.

Forsaken is also the game where learning from your mistakes is literally magic, so there's that.

I could go at length as to why I like W:TA more than W:TF (I won't) but one of the things that stands out most to me is that they try so hard to be W:TA in some ways (the W:TF tribes are just combinations of 2 or 3 W:TA Tribes Storm Lords=Shadow Lords + Silver Fangs. Blood Talons = Red Talons + Get of Fenris add Wendigo to taste, still have the same auspices that have the same roles, the Crinos form is named Gauru) but then there are a lot of things that just seem designed to piss Apocalypse players off (just being in Gauru form is stupidly dangerous to you and the other players, instead of Metis you have Ghost Children which basically say "Nope, this is a humans only club, and if you try anything different the storyteller gets to kill you", but its almost comical in all the ways it's designed to dick over your players. Cut it out? It grows back with the womb, try to abort it? it'll force itself to be born right then and there)

The fact that they replaced the W:TA creation myth with "your great grandparents hosed up big time, everyone blames you, you're probably going to die as a result, good luck" also makes it hard for me to like it.

They had some great ideas, the Host are amazing, and Blood of the Wolf is one of my favorite books just for the amount of detail they go into, but it's hard for me to like the base setting as presented.

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Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

While I prefer how Lost dealt with child characters being so awful in the Dreaming ("No, you're all infertile. Sorry. Ain't happening. And if you're Taken too young, or too old, you don't have the sense of self to return to."), that is loving hilarious.

"No. Werewolf does not screw werewolf. We are adamant about it this time. Remember that blurb about Fianna tearing violators of that tenet into pieces? That's poo poo nothing on what's in store for you hornballs."

Edit: It makes me wonder what kind of nightmare scenarios the writers dealt with that involved lovely metis players, or rape-happy Spiral hives to go from Apocalypse's 'Metis are deeply shameful, but shock troops for a war you're steadily losing don't grow on trees...' to 'NO. BAD.' With decent writing, it could be a compelling key to the mystery of just what the gently caress is up with the Forsaken. But... yeah.

One of the Mage end-days scenarios suggested that the universe was coming to an end, and the only way that even some beings might survive the birth of the next was by being converted into spirits that would be utterly bizarre and inscrutable to the inhabitants of that next world. I've always had the suspicion that that is the prehistory of the NWoD, and that the True Fey, and the Pure, and the Whatnot are remnants of those older lines that are no longer capable of coherent communication, but are so primal and so marked by the history of those games, that distorted elements still manage to express themselves.

Bieeanshee fucked around with this message at 01:39 on Aug 9, 2013

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