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HitTheTargets
Mar 3, 2006

I came here to laugh at you.


Spoilers Below posted:

And the award for "Statements Which Are Positively Horrifying Outside of Context" goes to...

Meet my new original character do not steal: The Reverend Soup-Salad-and-Breadsticks.

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Pussy Cartel
Jun 26, 2011





Lipstick Apathy

I'm voting Cyber-Papacy.

Punting
Sep 9, 2007
I am very witty: nit-witty, dim-witty, and half-witty.



HitTheTargets posted:

Meet my new original character do not steal: The Reverend Soup-Salad-and-Breadsticks.

Sounds like a Bone Gnawer street preacher.

Also, totally voting Cyber-Papacy.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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




Chapter 3 Part 2: All the rest

As promised, here are the last few tribes, and the hangers on.

Red Talons

Australia's Red Talons are entirely of dingo stock, and since there are a lot of dingos in Australia they're proportionally more numerous than elsewhere. The Red Talons respect action above all else, and are ruthlessly savage in their pursuit of their foes, the Wyrm and Humanity. They do not acknowledge the leadership of any other tribe, refusing to interact with them except in times of war. The first Red Talons to arrive in Australia were exiles, members of the Predator Kings camp who were very vocal about the return of the Impergium, and were sent to Australia to remove their influence from the tribe. I repeat, the Red Talons exiled them because they were too extreme. Anyways, they pushed into the interior of Australia and bred with the Dingos they found there, but met resistance from the Bunyip. "Anger against the Bunyip grew in these Talons' hearts. Who were these strange Garou to prevent the Red Talons from roaming in the wilderness and the spirit world, which were their birthrights?" Eventually the Black Spirals found out about this and well, the War of Tears happened.

Even after the truth was known they refused to believe it, since obviously they had stopped them from taking over the entire continent as was their birthright, truly they were villains. The fact that the other Garou blamed them just made them angrier. The only reason the Red Talons even bother to keep their seat on the Jindabyne Council is to try and convince the others to start all-out war against humanity. Their logic being that the united tribes were able to wipe out the Bunyip, why not humanity? Math is not the Red Talon's strong suit.

Australia has around 45 Red Talons, divided amongst their four protectorates. The Leaders of the protectorates constantly fight one another to prove who is strongest, the current leader is Mamu of the Pilbara protectorate. The rest of the Jindabyne Council just laughs at them since no matter who's holding the seat, the only thing they'll say is Kill All Humans. The only camp that has any real numbers are the Predator Kings, and most of the "Aboriginal Attacks" that were waged against settlers were Red Talons trying to get humans to kill each other for their own benefit. The only tribe they have any real affection towards is the Get, with whom they are united in their hatred of the Uktena.

Red Talons of "note" include Nose-to-the-Wind, a young Ragabash said to be as mad as a Black Spiral who plays pranks on his elders. Snarls-at-Thunder, an Ahroun with an insatiable hatred of the Uktena. And Teeth-Scrape-Bone, a Galliard who has met with a strange Garou who promises to make him the leader of the Tanami Protectorate.


Mamu: Rank 5 Lupus Ahroun
Our first rank 5, and he's got the stats to match, his description however..

quote:

Mamu almost never assumes Homid form, despising it as weak and helpless. On the rare occasions he appears in Homid, he has the appearance of a shaggy-haired sullen Aboriginal giant, standing well over six feet. His build is solid and rippling with muscle; his skin is a glossy black. In Lupus form, Mamu is a calf-sized dingo. His jet-black hair is shot through with red highlights. In Hispo, Mamu is the size of a Shetland Pony, a monstrous, terrifying beast.

Tremble in fear mortals!

Mamu ran with a dingo pack the first two years of his life, always fighting his rivals and wanting to defeat them just to prove he could. The only one he couldn't beat was the pack leader, and near the time of his first change the pack leader drove him out. Of course after he changed he came back and killed him and took over the pack. Now he leads the Pilbara Protectorate and sits on the Jindabyne Council, he's the largest strongest Red Talon in Australia, but that doesn't really do him much good in the political arena, but he's learning, slowly. Him and Carla are working together to undermine the Uktena's representative on the council.


Rage-in-the-Streets: Rank 2 Lupus Ahroun
As a dingo pup Rage-in-the-Streets was known as Outruns-the-Elders. He lived in Cape York with his mother's pack up until she was shot by hunters. His anger over this was nurtured by the other Red Talons, and he went into Brisbane with the aim of killing as many people as savagely as possible.

quote:

On his first night in Brisbane, however, Outruns-the-Elders was noticed by the city's Sabbat vampires, who immediately saw the potential for amusement in the young Lupine. Luring him into a trap with their Protean Discipline, the Leeches injected Outruns-the-Elders with a massive dose of heroin. To their surprise, Outruns-the-Elders survived the attack, but soon found himself addicted to the drug. Through his introduction to heroin, Outruns-the-Elders conceived of a new way to destroy the humans, by exploiting their own weaknesses. Renaming himself Rage-in-the-Streets, he learned all he could about drugs and their deadly possibilities. Rage-in-the-Streets now manufactures and distributes large quantities of illicit drugs throughout Brisbane. Rage-in-the-Streets is still observed by the Sabbat, and is their unwitting tool in a campaign to corrupt the structure of Brisbane society.
This character is so dumb it wraps back around to funny. It's made even more hilarious because this is one of the few Red Talons of note that authors know about, so he shows up a lot in other books, portrayed differently every time.

Shadow Lords
The Shadow Lords did not arrive in Australia in force until the refugee influx post World War II, although individual members were active before that. They did not participate in the War of Tears so they exploit the turmoil and guilt that members of other tribes feel. Maintaining their normal hostility towards the Silver Fangs has proven costly, however, as the Glass Walkers hold the true power in Australia. Traditional strategies don't work against the Glass Walkers, so the Shadow Lords have grown even more hide-bound and stick to their traditions.

The first Shadow Lord to arrive in Australia was Boris Kuschena, who was appointed to determine the viability of Australia as a home to his tribe, he arrived during a hot dry summer, saw that it was a hellhole, and went home. He said that it was an "arid hell, and all the Silver Fangs deserved". Though a few members of the tribe "More treacherous and ambitious than even the Shadow Lords could stomach," emigrated to the colonies, trying to establish themselves as kings, far removed from the eyes of their elders. They fell to infighting and in the end only the most brutal, Tepes Godkin, was left. His reputation as a killer brought him to the attention of the Red Talons and the Get, who told him about the Bunyip. We already know his story. The rest of the tribe arrived after WWII, and found Tasmania most resembled the land they left behind, so they kicked out the Black Furies and claimed it as their own... except they took it in the late 1800s, after the War of Tears but before the Jindabyne Council was formed, the fact that they did it was one of the main reasons the council was formed in the First place, to mediate those kinds of disputes. Sounds to me like whoever wrote this section just wanted to mitigate the Shadow Lords responsibility for the War of Tears by making it a single rogue element that pushed for it while the rest of the tribe remained inviolate far away.

Anyways, Today Tasmania is a Shadow Lord stronghold, and their rule there is absolute. Garou who cross the Bass Strait without their permission are taking their lives into their own hands, and will probably be killed by the Lords. There are about 20 in total, with most living in the Protectorate, with Two exiles( Alexandyr Petravich Kropotkin and Snarls-at-Shadows) prowling the Great Divide. The leader of the Tasmanian Protectorate is Vlad Volaschky. There are no Camp adherents in Tasmania, as that would distract their loyalty from their King, Vlad. Australian Shadow Lords are more conservative than their fellows overseas, since they haven't needed to adapt in the past 50 years in their own private fiefdom. Australian lords who travel overseas return complaining that they have less freedoms than their cousins. The Lords refuse to breed with dingo stock, and maintain a wolf pack near Cradle Mountain, they also send their young overseas in search of appropriate mates, to keep their stock pure. They disdain Bone Gnawers and despise Glass Walkers, they can't comprehend that the Silver Fangs are not dominant in Australia, and that the Glass Walker prominence must be an intricate Silver Fang plot. They find the Black Furies and Children of Gaia to be "Mewling Milksops", and distrust the Fianna for their prominence in politics, though some call for the Irish Garou to be used as tools against the Silver Fang/Glass Walker plot.


Vlad Volaschky: Rank 4 Homid Ahroun

Vlad was born in a small village in Romania. He learned early of his Garou heritage from his grandfather, whom he later killed to gain control of his pack. He was forced to flee Europe by the invading Nazis, which gave him a hate of the Get of Fenris that he carries to this day. He found Australia's Shadow Lords to be directionless and disorganized, He shaped them into a powerful tribe through a combination of violence and willpower. Being a stranger to Australian customs, he clung to his European heritage, enforcing them upon the younger generations with violence when necessary. He considers himself and his tribe European, and will not brook any dissent in that matter, he still involves himself in European Shadow Lord politics, and is often absent from the Jindabyne Council meetings. He conducts all Rites of Passage for his tribe in Europe, as he believes Australia is an unfit proving ground for those of noble blood like his.

Silent Striders
Devastated by their involvement in the War of Tears, Australia's Silent Striders withdrew from Garou society. They instead form a loose confederation known as the Strider Circus. The packs perform separately, congregating once a year for the Grand Circus in the outback, where they stage a free festival. Taking time to exchange information and tell tales amongst themselves. Of all the Australian Garou, the Striders probably have the most knowledge of the Dreamtime and the Umbra, they hope that they can use this knowledge to atone for the past or find any Bunyip that may yet survive.

The first Striders arrived in 1800, the early arrivals were all members of the Wayfarers camp and roamed the continent as a single pack. They were responsible for many of the early explorations of the continent along with the Bone Gnawers with whom the cooperated, but they were constantly turned back by the hostile spirits, dreamtime, and Bunyip, so they retreated to the new Stargazer protectorate of Eungella. Between 1830 and 1850, more striders arrived, and most of these were members of the Harbinger's camp who wanted to treat with the Bunyip directly. Eventually one, named Khufu, did succeed. Unfortunately immediately afterwards the War of Tears kicked off, and Khufu and his pack died along side their new Bunyip allies. Causing a rift between the Wayfarers and Harbingers to this day.

After the War of Tears, the Striders decided to try and preserve what little they could of the Bunyip and the Dreamtime, so they formed the Strider Circus, small packs that would travel as performers and gather what knowledge they could so it could be preserved and shared. Today there are only 15 Striders in Australia, their packs within the circus include the Gampala Aboriginal Dance Company, the Circus Australia Acrobats, and the Tchingal Indigenous Music Collective(which also includes Kinfolk). Most Garou are aware of the circus, but not it's secondary purpose of knowledge gathering. The Striders shun other tribes, sometimes allowing Stargazers, Black Furies, or Bone Gnawers to travel with them for a time, but never for long and they never join the circus. They hold the Glass Walkers in high esteem, but are irritated by the Silver Fang's officious nature, and the holier-than-thou attitude of the Children of Gaia.


Grek Twice-Tongue: Rank 4 Metis Philodox

Good god I hate that picture, its offensive in a way that has to be intentional. He's described as a hairless albino Aboriginal man of middle age, because one Metis deformity wasn't enough. Also: Grek has the Didgeridoo of the Past unique fetish, when it is played, all who hear it see visions of the story that is being told or danced to them.

Grek is the only child of a Silent Strider and a Stargazer who traveled with the Gampila Aboriginal Dance Company for a week, long enough to conceive the albino boy. He grew up a circus child, and was forced to perform by his mother from a young age up until her untimely death on his 18th birthday. (What, did someone kill her as a birthday present?) He's universally respected for his storytelling prowess, but otherwise avoided by Garou who are not Silent Striders. Twelve years ago he was chosen by the spirits to be the new Silent Strider representative on the Jindabyne council, the Dreamtime itself screamed his name, and all the Theurges at the circus dreamed that Grek would be responsible for freeing the tribes from their guilt, though none know how.

Silver Fangs
The nobles of Garou Society are little liked by the Australian Garou, mostly seen as inbred upper-class fools. Their origins lie in the landed gentry of England, and more so than their foreign compatriots they show signs of inbreeding as they refused to marry outside of established Australian gentry and refuse to breed with dingos. The first Silver Fang was Earl Blaze of Uffington, we've already heard about him and nothing more is said here. Same with Greymane Sleekfur. His successor was Jeremy Fur-Crown Winthrop, who saw the War of Tears as a chance to resurrect his tribe's glory. After he found out the truth he committed suicide too.

There are 35 Silver Fangs in Australia, the majority of which live in the Silver Fang protectorates which are the oldest settled parts of Australia and have the longest family lines. Younger members do leave the protectorates to form multi-tribal packs with other Garou. Noteworthy Silver Fangs include the Metis Ragabash Michelle Leaps-beyond-the-Reach-of-the-Wyrm who is Darius Winchester's Seneschal, who seems to have the best interests of her lord at heart but secretly wants his throne. Phillip Battenburg, a Homid Galliard who advocates Garou Equality and is therefore a Pariah among his tribe. and Chases Cars, a Lupus Ahroun from Adelaide so inbred and insane that he believes that Automobiles are the sentient servants of the Wyrm. The Silver Fangs look down on all the other tribes, because they're Silver Fangs.


Darius Winchester: Rank 5 Homid Ahroun

quote:

In his Homid Form Darius is a tall, slender man, with a pronounced lack of chin and a stutter. Although only 30, he is already balding, which concerns him unduly. He dresses in expensive, tailor-made suits and is never seen without a tie. He chain-smokes and is fond of lavish gestures, such as tossing handfuls of money at street urchins. In Lupus form, Darius is an inelegant, scrawny wolf. his fur constantly falls out in clumps. Despite his regal bearing he seems vaguely foolish.
This is the king of the Silver Fangs in Australia? No wonder the Glass Walkers are taking over. It doesn't help that his artwork makes him literally look like a dick.

Anyways, Darius inherited the throne from his Uncle, and was saddened by the depths to which his tribe has fallen. He knows how guilty the Garou feel, and hopes to assuage that guilt(and save his tribe) by bringing back the Bunyip by any means necessary. So he works with the Silent Striders to collect Bunyip lore. With the Black Furies to protect the Dreamtime, and with Cernonous to clone the Bunyip back into existence. Most Silver Fangs think that his obsession with the Bunyip is just his own personal insanity, but some are regaining pride in themselves due to his noble quest.

Stargazers
The Australian Stargazers are half a step away from Harano, they believe that the Bunyip held secrets that could stop the Apocalypse, and now that they're dead the world is doomed to absolute destruction. Most of the tribe on the continent has fallen to the Wyrm and joined the Dancers. The first Bunyip arrived in 1790, and they saw the Bunyip and a people untouched by the Impergium as an opportunity to learn. But the Bunyip didn't want to talk to them, and their dealings with other Garou didn't make them any friendlier. They argued against the War of Tears, saying that if anyone was Wyrm Tainted it was the Garou with their burden of Rage. However when push came to shove they sided with the rest of the nation so as to not be ostracized, believing that this was the first battle of the Apocalypse, when all Garou would perish. But when the smoke cleared and it wasn't the Apocalypse most of them fell to Harano or the Wyrm.

Now there are only 6 Stargazers in Australia, and they rarely leave the Eungella Protectorate. They include such cheery individuals as the Lupus Aroun Chisolm There-is-no-Hope, who searches for the ultimate meaningless death; and the Metis Galliard Indira Songs-of-Sorrow whose mournful wailing is tuneless and depressing. The other tribes basically don't even consider them Garou at this point, the Red Talons want to kill them and the Get of Fenris want to strip them of their protectorate.


Monash End-to-the-Darkness: Rank 2 Homid Ragabash

Monash was born in Queensland to a single Mother, he never knew his father and his Mother would never speak of him. He changed early and ran away from home on all fours, eventually finding the Stargazer Protectorate, where he learned all he could and brought some hope back to the tribe. He's the Stargazer Representative on the Jindabyne Council only because no one else wants the position, and he's only been there a Year. Innana has taken him under her wing and "he is grateful to her for her aid and love". He's recently heard of the Rokea Weresharks that might live in the Great Barrier Reef, thinking that they are somehow the saviors of the Garou Nation, because when the Apocalypse comes they will be able to grant their aid. He hopes that by finding them he will break his tribe out of their Harano.

This plotline makes no sense.

Uktena
The Uktena are sullen and mysterious to their Australian brethren, even though they've been on Australian soil for less than 150 years, they already control most of the powerful Bunyip Caerns. It's rumored that they seek revenge for the European usurpation of the Pure Lands. Rumors are all the other Garou have... but they're right.

The first Uktena came to Australia hoping that the Bunyip, fellow victims of European aggression, would sympathise with their plight. Sings-with-the-Moon was the first to try and make contact but he was ignored, he had hoped to learn their secrets so he could bring them back to America and drive the invaders back beyond the sea, you know, in 1850. Instead all he got was wounded pride and a sense of vengeance, so he vowed to learn the Bunyip secrets no matter the cost. The Uktena shored up their numbers and waited for the rage of the other Garou to come to a head, once the Bunyip were dead, they moved in to claim the most powerful land for themselves.

There are only 20 Uktena in Australia right now, and they maintain a tribal unity that has advanced to the point of xenophobia. The one voice of reason is Runs-with-Ghosts, the sept leader of the Katajuta Caern, but she's mocked for her open-mindedness by the Uktena of the Kimberleys and by Tjinderi Knowing-Smile, the Council Representative. Tjinderi is secretly grooming Bathes-in-Blood, the gatekeeper of the Katajuta Caern, to succeed Runs-with-Ghosts after she falls to an 'accident'.

The Uktena are the only tribe to have chosen Aboriginals as kinfolk in large numbers, and take any attack on the natives as an attack against their own kin. Most Uktena are of the Earth Guide camp, and encourage the Aboriginals to return to their old ways and live in harmony with Gaia. Many Earth Guides are active in Aboriginal politics and work with Aboriginal organizations. The only member of the Ghost Dance camp is Tjinderi herself, who seeks to use the entire tribe to bring about her goal of an Aboriginal only Australia.

Oh, and in case you had any doubts about them being the new Aboriginal tribe, the mechanical rules for Boomerangs as weapons are on this page.


Tjendiri Knowing-Smile: Rank 4 Homid Ragabash

Tjinderi was stolen away from her Aboriginal family when she was five, and was raised by an American. Unlike many fostered children, she was treated well. At 14 she learned why, he was Commanding Howl, Uktena leader of the Kimberly Protectorate, and she was Garou. She accompanied him back to the US to learn of the tragedy of the Uktena and the loss of the Pure Lands, and Commanding Howl ensured that her loyalties lie with him and the Uktena, and not the Aboriginals. She returned to her homeland and set about learning all she could about the Bunyip and their secrets. She succeeded her adoptive father as ruler of the Kimberly Protectorate on his death, and his place on the Jindabyne Council. It is her goal to make the Uktena the most powerful Tribe, first in Australia, then the world, and then to kill every Wyrmcomer she can find.

She passes on all her secrets to the Uktena Great Council, in hope that they can use the knowledge to reclaim America and Australia. Her ambition binds her to the individuals that actually make up her tribe, however, and she has two real challenges in her chosen successor, Jacky Gecko, and Runs-with-Ghosts of the Katajuta Protectorate.


Jacky Gecko: Rank 3 Homid Galliard
Jacky here has a unique fetish, Yongar's Wings. This is a boomerang that deals Str+2 aggravated damage and will always return to it's user. For comparison, normal boomerangs deal 1 die of bashing, and don't return if they deal damage.

Jacky was born on a reservation in the Northern Territory. He wanted to be a doctor from a young age, sickened by the poor standard of health that his people endured. His first change was witnessed by Tjinderi, but he remained adamant in his goal, studied hard, and became a doctor working for the Aboriginal Health Service and the Flying Doctors. He eventually saved up enough money to get his own plane, and has won some respect with the other tribes for saving injured stranded Garou no matter their origin or nationality. This respect and his distance from Tjinderi has allowed him to see that her goals no longer align with those of the Aboriginal people. As her loyalties lie with the Uktenna first, foremost, and always.

Wendigo
The Wendigo aren't here except as tourists. But they needed to have at least one token entry.


Joseph Blows-with-the-Wind
Joseph is a Blackfoot Indian from Montana who came to study at Bond University on a scholarship. He loved Queensland so much that he never went home, and now spends his time surfing and dodging the Immigration Department. His ancestors keep telling him that he has a great destiny in store, and that he must remain in Australia, though he doesn't care why. To that end they appear to have helped him keep one step ahead of the Immigration officials for the time being.

On a recent surfing trip, Joseph was caught in a vicious current and carried out to sea. Stranded on a small coral reef, he saw a school of sharks swim toward him. He was understandably surprised when one of the sharks assumed homid form and retrieved his surfboard before diving back under the waves. His ancestors have remained silent on the matter, which sucks because apparently Monash End-to-the-Darkness is looking for him. Because Sharks.


The Jindabyne Council
The council was formed in 1901 by Kanakis, to establish a multi-tribal council to coordinate Australia's Garou. It was necessary, he stated, in light of the federation of the Australian Colonies. The tribe of Jindabyne, in the Silver Fang protectorate of Wadbilliga, was chosen for its proximity to Mount Kosciusko, where the last Bunyip was slain. In this way the Glass Walkers are always able to lord the guilt of the War of Tears over everyone elses head at need. The Council defined the protectorate borders, and has the capacity to form the Ngalyod Pack to enforce or protect their decisions.

Others
Because there are more than wolves in Australia

The Changing Breeds
There might be Were-crocodiles here, there are however Rokea who protect the Great Barrier Reef.

Mummies

RETURN THE SLAB

quote:

Abu Nwole is an African mummy created in a tribal ceremony after a great Zulu triumph in what is now Capetown. Abu was a chieftain, killed in battle, but responsible for his people's victory. Through sacrificial spilling of captive and Zulu blood, Abu was pulled back from death, becoming an undying mummy. Unlike his Egyptian Kin created by the Followers of Horus, he was not restricted to one body, but began an endless cycle of death and rebirth. Abu wandered for almost two centuries, eventually arriving on the shores of Australia 3,000 years ago. He made his home among the Aboriginals and on rare occasions helped the Bunyip in their endeavors. His later incarnations have been Aboriginal men.
"No he's not really a mummy, but he totally is. Also he's an Aboriginal now. Just go with it."

Abu didn't really care about the War of Tears, and in fact wouldn't give a poo poo about Garou at all were it not for the fact that Greyman Sleekfur killed his mortal lover over a century ago. He's freshly reincarnated and is going on a bloody killing spree of every Silver Fang he can find.

Mages
Before the Council of Nine, the Dreamspeakers lived with the Aboriginals. They were few, but were very powerful. Indeed, the name of the Tradition is said to come from these mages and their ability to trod the Dreamtime. The Bunyip resented them, because they stole power from Bunyip Caerns, but they were allowed to live because their great knowledge of the Dreamtime benefited everyone. Powerful as they were, they did not act to stop the Europeans, because they knew that the Europeans would kill the Bunyip. They did not know that the Europeans would then go on to kill a bunch of Aboriginals, including most of the Dreamspeakers. Supposedly the Nephandi played a part in this somehow.

There's also James Stirling, immortal lord of Perth. Supposedly the only reason Perth still stands is because he literally sold his soul to the Nephandi in exchange for a nonaggression pact. The Dreamspeakers and Hollow Ones also have interests here, as do the Technocracy, which the mages are finally realizing they should probably come to Australia and fight.

That's it for chapter 3!

Next up: "Villains"

Angry Salami
Jul 27, 2013

Don't trust the skull.


...Zululand and Capetown are on opposite sides of South Africa. Then again, I'm pretty sure the ancestors of the Zulu wouldn't have been anywhere near either of them three thousand years ago.

DAD LOST MY IPOD
Feb 3, 2012

Fats Dominar is on the case





Return to the TOMB OF HORRORS, Part 10: Disregard the Law Enforcement Officials (And the Dragon)

Hello again everyone! Let's continue exploring Moil!



Tower 5 is known as the Aqueous Tower. Long ago, this was a reservoir of sorts-- this is where Moil got its potable water. Since then, the water's been polluted and salted, to the point of undrinkability. The salt has had the side effect of keeping it liquid in the intense cold of Moil, otherwise it would have frozen long ago. There's about 500 feet of water in the tower; the entrance is 20 feet above the surface, and magic keeps it in, but any PC who swims down the whole way for some reason is liable to be pulled into the Negative Energy Plane as normal. There is also a plug of solidified salt down there, which has been hollowed out into a lair for the tower's only inhabitant-- an adult brine dragon. While it is possible to try to hole the wall of the tower with spells and thereby drain out some of the water, the walls have been treated to reflect magic 45% of the time, and you'd have to blast through the salt to drain the tower beyond a certain level-- and doing so awakens and mightily pisses off the dragon.



So why do the PCs want to go into this deathtrap at all? Well, if not for the poem, they'd likely avoid it. There's one thing and one thing only they need down here: a key, necessary for proceeding past Moil to the Fortress of Conclusion.
There's a rusted iron ladder that leads down to the water and a ways below it; fortunately, it won't snap if PCs step on it. DMs whose PCs go down here should familiarize themselves with the rules for fighting underwater (they're really nasty and crippling without magical assistance like a ring of free action), and should remember a few things:
1) Once you get into the brine caves it is pitch black. Infravision doesn't work well because the water is so cold, so bring a non-flame light source.
2) The water's so cold that hypothermia is a problem. Unless you're magically protected from cold, you must make a Con check every round, with each subsequent check having a -2 penalty. One failure sends you unconscious. A second failure kills you.
3) You, of course, cannot breathe underwater. Better get some water breathing cast on you.
It's up to you if you want to use some water pressure rules. I can't find the 2e ones, but the 3e ones are 1d6 points of damage/hundred feet subsurface/round. So, it adds up.

Anyways, the ladder goes down 40 feet underwater, where it terminates in a plateau of solid salt. This does not cover the entire floor-- around the center of the tower there's a lip, a 20-foot drop, and a wide cave mouth below. Entering this cave-- noted 5.4 on the map-- takes you to my favorite room in all of AD&D second edition. It's a trap, of course, but it's so elegant in its simplicity that I can't help but applaud. It's a grotto, fully submerged, and with salt making up the walls, floor and ceiling. One wall-- the far one-- is pitted, corroded iron; the interior of the tower. There's some glyphs scratched into the walls in typical Acererak style.

These glyphs, when read, unleash a 20th-level dispel magic. Spell, active magic items, potions, and everything else instantly fails.

It's... it's beautiful.

So assuming that your PCs can survive freezing, drowning, crushing and pitch-blackness, they can continue.
The next room has two skeletons, embedded in the salt wall-- victims of the dispel trap. The brine dragon stripped their bodies of possessions/nutrients and then stowed their remains here to keep his lair "neat and tidy" per the adventure. The bones are fragile and, if delicately handled, can be determined to be acid-scored (this is from the brine dragon's saliva).
Area 5.6 is the brine dragon's hoard.

And there he is, trollfacing at you!

The dragon's actually asleep, despite his massive grin. It's 50 feet long and has flippers instead of legs (brine dragons are wholly aquatic). It sleeps away the years, absorbing salt through its skin and guarding a silver key atop a salt pillar. The best way to defeat it is not to fight it-- grab the key and run like hell. You must pass a Move Silently check to do this, base 5% chance. Silently or not, 1d20 rounds after PCs enter its chamber the dragon wakes up. It is pissed off and hungry and will attack on sight-- it can't be reasoned with. In addition to biting, slamming etc. it has a breath weapon: a spray of alkaline salt and saliva. It also has Melf's Acid Arrow 3x a day. It's generally a nasty enemy, and it also doesn't suffer the really nasty underwater fighting penalties PCs do, as an aquatic creature. It has a hoard, if they manage to kill it, but the hoard's not too big, since the dragon can't leave the water. It has a lot of money, some potions (extra-healing, speed, clairvoyance and [/i]oil of fumbling[/i]), some art and scrolls (all ruined by the water), a shield +2, a rope of entanglement, a ruined magic tome, a dwarven throwing hammer +3, a scarab of death and a rod of resurrection with seven charges, which will definitely come in handy.

So next we head to tower 6-- the Tower of Discipline. This is where Moil's criminal justice system was based, and the excesses of that system directly led to the rebellion and curse. As befitting an Orcus-worshipping city, justice in Moil was arbitrary and violent. There's only one level of this tower left, but that's dangerous enough.


6.1 is the entrance. 6.2 is the Hall of Slaying :black101: where public executions, a great source of spectacle for the depraved Moilians, took place. It's all smashed up now, except for Headsman, the magen executioner. A word on magen, since there are a few scattered about : magen are kind of like intelligent golems made of magically charged gelatin poured into molds-- they're human-looking, but designed for a specific purpose. Headsman was designed to chop off 'eads and that's what 'e does, especially now that he has gone insane from years without human contact or instruction. He wears a headsman's hood and wields an axe-- the Headsman's Hood and Headsman's Axe of Moil,, in fact. The Hood allows him to issue a suggestion 3x a day, but it's much more powerful than the standard spell-- the target will attempt to complete the command at the exclusion of all other tasks, and if they are asked to lay their necks down on the stone chopping block and wait motionless, they get a -5 saving throw penalty. The axe is effectively a vorpal sword +3, but if a creature is standing or lying motionless before the wielder they can be automatically decapitated with no roll required, regardless of mitigating factors. Naturally this a very fair and balanced combat and definitely won't result in one PC after another failing a save at -5 and being instagibbed with no save. When the PCs first enter Headsman will be completely stunned at the sight of them, but it will quickly get to loppin' off heads with the help of its hood. Headsman also has a key around its neck on a chain that opens the door at 6.4.

6.3 is an "Interrogatorium," the only one of four that survived the transit to the demiplane. It's a torture chamber, of course. There's a 10'x10'x10' construction of iron bars against the south wall, suspended in the center of which is a giant cocoon connected to frost-coated webs. It's about 6'x2'. This tower used to contain tanar'ri torturers; the web is a remnant of a fiendish torture that killed its victim (so he didn't rise as a zombie). The body wears a chain around its neck and a loincloth-- attached to the chain is a brass vial containing a piece of durable parchment that reads, in Moilian, "Interrogation Until Admission," the fate of the prisoner.
6.4 is the entrance to the cell blocks, a 4' thick wall of iron enchanted against magical passage or destruction. The door has a bas-relief of a huge screaming face; if you try to pick the lock (-20% penalty) you have to be quick, because success or failure brings the jaws gnashing shut. Save vs. breath weapon to avoid it-- failure by 1-5 points means you take 1d6 damage, failure by more does 1d6 and you lose a hand (it's bitten off by the mouth!). Past the door is a cell block, complete with a mural of demonic beings preparing humans to eat. The cells contain flickering, multicolored lights that give the whole hallway an eerie aspect.

Any PC who studies the whole mural from beginning to end must take a saving throw vs. paralyzation with a -2 penalty or be wracked by horrible nightmares for the next five nights, preventing them from re-memorizing spells and suffering a -1 cumulative Thac0, ability check and saving throw penalty due to fatigue. Remove Curse will get rid of this effect. The cells are all empty aside from the outlines of Moilian zombies, and each has a strobing light in it that sends out the flickers PCs saw earlier (a calculated attempt to break prisoners' spirits). The key you got from Headsman unlocks the cells in case you really wanna go in there, but don't touch the bars-- it causes severe pain. If you touch them for a full round you lose 1d4 Strength plus suffer horrible agony; if you reach zero, you fall unconscious for 1d4+4 rounds.

One of the cells, 6.5, is dark; the light got smashed. Doing so is a very bad idea, since they're enchanted, and smashing them causes them to leak a mildly acidic black fluid endlessly (it deals 1hp of damage/round). Any prisoner who got rowdy and smashed the light was allowed to simply dissolve slowly and horribly in the acid that filled up their cell.

6.6 is actually occupied! There's a woman in there, shackled to the wall and with a hood over her head. She's wearing a frayed brown robe and her head lolls on her chest.

This is Isafel, until relatively recently one of Acererak's only living servants. Being a living servant of Acererak is risky and stupid; he has nothing but contempt for the living, and on a pretext he tossed her in here to "teach her humility" and then forgot about her. When she hears the party, she raises her head and shouts, "Acererak! Have you come finally to release me from this chill bondage? I've learned humbleness and will serve you faithfully! I beg you to release me!" She's smart and will quickly realize that, whoever the PCs are, they're not Acererak. She'll beg to be released and will promise to reveal all she knows if they do. She asks them to free her hands first, which she'll then use to free her head. See, there's something about Isafel she won't tell PCs-- she's not human at all, she's a medusa. She'll attempt to petrify them all as proof of her loyalty to Acererak.

Isafel still has her possessions, and they're what have enabled her to survive this long. She has a ring of warmth on one hand and a nonmagical emerald ring on the other, and a pouch with some personal possessions and a petrified heart and stomach, which act as permanent rings of sustenance and regeneration.

Anyways, area 6.7 is the Afflictionaria, another torture chamber. It's full of fully operational torture machines (one of the portals back at the Tower of Portals teleported a PC into one of these machines), including various harnesses and tables and razors and so on. The DM is encouraged to be creative when furnishing this room, and to just suggest a few items on a table next to a restraining chair and let the PCs' imaginations do the horrible filling-in of details. This is not Cthulhutech. There's a corpse strapped to a wheel that was tortured to death before the curse and didn't rise; his brass vial contains a parchment that says "Absolve," which the torturers chose to disregard. Fun!

Anyways, that's it for 6.7. Some magic items and one really nasty combat encounter. Next time we pay a visit to the doctor and see what Moilian medicine was like!

Next time: Spiders and Magens!

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Wait, magen? Goddamn, that's one seriously obscure monster.

DAD LOST MY IPOD
Feb 3, 2012

Fats Dominar is on the case




Bieeardo posted:

Wait, magen? Goddamn, that's one seriously obscure monster.

They appeared in the ill-fated Mystara Monstrous Compendium Appendix and there are a TON of monsters from that book in this adventure, leading me to believe that they were directed to push it with this adventure. Nightwalker, Fundamentals, Magen, and one that's worse than all of them coming up later.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Fundamentals somehow merited a reprint in one of the Planescape sourcebooks too, but I managed to forget the Mystara compendium somehow. It makes sense trying to use critters from that one setting that almost nobody touched, if they were trying to really focus on how exotic Moil is.

And good god, I hope that one we haven't seen isn't a blackball. Those things were absurdly dangerous.

Hypnobeard
Sep 15, 2004

Obey the Beard





Well, I think the lady-is-actually-a-medusa is a reference to Keep on the Borderlands, isn't it? So maybe a lot of these are just ticking the nostalgia boxes.

AmiYumi
Oct 10, 2005

I FORGOT TO HAIL KING TORG


DAD LOST MY IPOD posted:

These glyphs, when read, unleash a 20th-level dispel magic. Spell, active magic items, potions, and everything else instantly fails.

It's... it's beautiful.
I had somehow forgotten about this. How hilariously dickish; that's the sort of trap that you just know a DM has announced with a trollface, followed by victory pelvic thrusts to celebrate his TPK.

Bitchtits McGee
Jul 1, 2011



Cynical-Pop Meikyuu Kingdom Dungeon Theater

Chapter 3.1: The Basics

Phases of Play

Each game of Meikyuu Kingdom follows a progression of four Phases:

    Preparation Phase - Wherein the GM makes an adventure, everybody decides on a place and a time to meet up, players make characters if they haven't already, etc. To my knowledge, no rules actually reference this phase, but there it is anyway.
    Kingdom Phase - GM introduces the plot. Players prepare themselves for adventure and/or the kingdom for their absence.
    Dungeon Phase - Explore! Kill! Loot! Continues in a partial loop until the players either go home and give up, complete the scenario, or die.
    Ending Phase - Everybody piles together the loot they made in the previous Phase and divvies up how best to spend it to keep the nation strong. Also, if they completed the scenario, this is where they level up.

In-Game Time

When everyone has resolved their actions, that is one Cycle. Cycles have two more commonly used sub-terms depending on when the time is being measured: Rounds in combat, and Quarters during the Dungeon Phase. The passage of four Quarters equals one Turn, which isn't actually a cycle but will come up later.

Actions

Characters exist in one of two states: Ready and Spent. Most actions require the character to be Ready, and they become Spent once the action is resolved. At the end of each Cycle, all remaining characters revert to Ready.

There are four main types of Actions:

    Support - The most common Action Type. Usually supplements a basic action (like an attack or movement) in some way that wouldn't take a lot of in-character preparation to pull off. Acting character must be Ready, and becomes Spent once the action is resolved.
    Plan - More complicated and time-consuming actions that set up some benefit for later use. Cannot be used during combat. Acting character must be Ready, and becomes Spent once the action is resolved.
    Aid - Supplementary actions to, well, aid another character's action. Resolution does not make the acting character Spent, and can even be performed if already Spent. However, Aid Actions cannot be combined, and the same character cannot perform the same Aid Action more than once per Cycle.
    Interrupt - Actions that target and supersede other Actions. Note that Interrupts can themselves be Interrupted; in this case, each Interrupt is resolved in the order they were declared, and the original Action only resolves once that's done. Resolution does not make the acting character Spent, and can even be performed if already Spent. The same character cannot make the same Interrupt Action more than once per Cycle.

Action Checks

Roll 2D6 and add the appropriate Ability (predetermined by game data, or else set by the GM); this total is your Achievement Value (AV). If the AV is equal to or greater than the Check's Difficulty (again, predetermined or else GM'd; typically ranges from 7 to 11), the Check succeeds. A standard, simple enough mechanic that I was for some Godforsaken reason compelled to spend the better part of two months trying to make sound complicated. :spergicide:

  • Hope = More Dice - Before rolling the dice for a Check, you may spend any amount of <Hope> to roll an additional number of dice equal to the amount spent. Pick any two from this pool to use for your AV.
  • 6 = Drive - Before calculating the AV, you may choose to convert any 6s rolled into <Drive>. Converted dice are removed from the Check pool. You can't convert dice for <Drive> if doing so would reduce the number of dice in the Check Pool to less than one.
  • 11 = Total Failure - A Total Failure occurs when the dice used for the AV are both 1s. The Check fails regardless of Difficulty, and the <Vox Populi> is decreased by 1. The AV is treated as a 0. (NOTE: this only happens when the AV dice are two 1s. If you've spent <Hope> and roll two 1s in the Check Pool, it only counts as a Total Failure if you're somehow dumb enough to choose them both. If you roll a 1 and a 6 normally, then take the 6 for <Drive>, the lone 1 does not count as a Total Failure, though it'll probably fail normally since it's just a 1, but hey, none of my business.)
  • 66 = Total Success - A Total Success occurs when the dice used for the AV are both 6s. The Check succeeds regardless of Difficulty, and the character making the Check gains 2 <Drive>. The AV is calculated normally.
  • Staff = More Numbers - After calculating the AV, you may decrease your <Staff> by 1D6 to increase the Check's AV by 1. If you roll more <Staff> than you actually have, you lose them all, but the effect still goes through. (This also applies to Skills that reduce <Staff>.)
  • National Power Checks - Whenever a Check is made using a National Power instead of an Ability Score, the roll may be made by any player. Also, <Vox Populi> exclusively replaces <Drive> wherever it shows up: increasing the Check Pool, converting 6s, and Total Successes.

Co-Operative Actions

Before another character rolls for a Check, you may make a Co-Operative Action to help them by offering advice or assistance. This counts as a Support-type action, so you must be Ready beforehand and are Spent afterwards; also, you cannot Co-Operate with a character for whom you have more <Antipathy> than <Sympathy>. No roll is required, just describe how your character is collaborating in the target action, and if the GM decides it sounds valid, the Check's AV is increased by the total <Sympathy> you have for the character making it.

National Disasters

If the <Vox Populi> ever drops below the number of Landmakers currently in the game, and every time it's caused to drop further below that number (even if it's already at 0), a representative of the Court must roll 2D6 against the National Disaster Table. As the name implies, this is something you'd generally want to avoid doing: plagues, famine, invasions, and uncontrollable shifts in the dungeon are just a few of the possible results.

...huh, that ended on kind of a dire note. Well, anyway! Next time: play begins! Here's hoping I get it up sometime before November! :shepface:

JohnnyCanuck
May 28, 2004

Strong And/Or Free


DAD LOST MY IPOD posted:


Return to the TOMB OF HORRORS, Part 10: Disregard the Law Enforcement Officials (And the Dragon)

Hello again everyone! Let's continue exploring Moil!


Who doesn't love exploring the City of Phalluses!

DAD LOST MY IPOD
Feb 3, 2012

Fats Dominar is on the case




Bieeardo posted:

Fundamentals somehow merited a reprint in one of the Planescape sourcebooks too, but I managed to forget the Mystara compendium somehow. It makes sense trying to use critters from that one setting that almost nobody touched, if they were trying to really focus on how exotic Moil is.

And good god, I hope that one we haven't seen isn't a blackball. Those things were absurdly dangerous.

haha guess what :allears:

gtrmp
Sep 29, 2008

Oba-Ma... Oba-Ma! Oba-Ma, aasha deh!

DAD LOST MY IPOD posted:

They appeared in the ill-fated Mystara Monstrous Compendium Appendix and there are a TON of monsters from that book in this adventure, leading me to believe that they were directed to push it with this adventure. Nightwalker, Fundamentals, Magen, and one that's worse than all of them coming up later.

Monte Cook worked on both the AD&D 2e Mystara setting and the Return to the Tomb of Horrors, which is probably why content from the former showed up in the latter. Likewise, some Mystara material popped up in his Planescape work: a few of the monster showed up in the later Planescape Monstrous Compendiums, and the random tiefling trait table in the Planewalker's Handbook looks to be inspired by the table for magic-blooded characters in the Glantri: Kingdom of Magic boxed set. And of course both Planescape and Mystara content popped up in the 3e core books that he worked on; the Planescape content is more obvious and pervasive, but there's Mystara material both in the Monster Manual (aranea, athach, nightshade) and the Epic Level Handbook (blackball, brain collector).

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:

There might be Were-crocodiles here, there are however Rokea who protect the Great Barrier Reef.

Is this all the were-sharks get? They should be a huge part of the setting - even the nicest tourist beaches have a few shark sightings a year and in the World of Darkness I'd expect were-sharks to basically hold tourism for ransom.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

DAD LOST MY IPOD posted:

haha guess what :allears:

I'm not sure whether to hide under my desk or get ready to laugh like a supervillain again.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


AmiYumi posted:

I had somehow forgotten about this. How hilariously dickish; that's the sort of trap that you just know a DM has announced with a trollface, followed by victory pelvic thrusts to celebrate his TPK.
The more I hear about this, better I understand where my first DM got his inclination towards player killing, though his were more overt in a 'half-dragon-fiendish-Tyrannosaur-hiding-behind-a-tree' sort of way.

Count Chocula posted:

Is this all the were-sharks get? They should be a huge part of the setting - even the nicest tourist beaches have a few shark sightings a year and in the World of Darkness I'd expect were-sharks to basically hold tourism for ransom.

There's also the Stargazer who's looking for the sharks, and the Wendigo that was saved by the sharks (and apparently was destined to be saved by the sharks). First edition Werewolf didn't give too much page space to the other Changing breeds, each one got a page or two with a rough summary, stats for their forms, and what gift lists you could steal from to give them something resembling a theme.

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007





DAD LOST MY IPOD posted:

These glyphs, when read, unleash a 20th-level dispel magic. Spell, active magic items, potions, and everything else instantly fails.

It's... it's beautiful.

Cards on the table: I laughed at this.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

My thought reading through was, 'Wait. Explosive runes won't work underwa-- oh. Oh, poo poo.'

ThisIsNoZaku
Apr 22, 2013

Pew Pew Pew!


I forgot I've been sitting on this for, like, two weeks.

A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying
Chapter 6: House Creation

An important part of ASoIF and the historical time and place it's based on is family and noble houses. To give this connection some heft in the game, there are rules for generating a noble house that all of the characters belong to.

This chapter gives all the steps you need to create the house.

Step One: The Realm
First, you select which of the Seven Kingdoms your house is located in. This will determine which
  • King's Landing
  • Although only a single city, being sword directly to the King has it's benefits. Being centered in the relatively densely populated areas around the city makes your realm more orderly, peaceful and well defended but there are drawbacks too, with the king keeping you on a shorter leash.

  • Dragonstone
  • Being located on a bunch of rocky islands keeps you poor and small, but being stuck in the middle of stormy seas makes your land a bitch to attack.

  • The North
  • A lot of the North is the largest realm, but pretty thinly populated. Northern houses generally have lots of land, and being sworn to Lord Stark, respected as the Warden of the North, earns them some respect.

  • The Iron Islands
  • Like Dragonstone, The Iron Islands are hard to attack and the ironmen are fierce warriors, but after the spanking they received during Balon's rebellion, the Iron Islands dont' have a lot of influence.

  • The Riverlands
  • There's lot of very fertile land in the Riverlands, but lots of open terrain suitable for farming makes it poorly defensible.

  • The Mountains of the Moon
  • Although the imposing mountains make this realm safe from outside invaders, there's not a lot of land free for newcomer houses and mountain man raiders coming out of the highlands cause lots of trouble.

  • Westerlands
  • Lannister and it's banner houses are rich, rich, rich, with very valuable mines and trade ports, which gives them a lot of influence.

  • The Reach
  • Has lots of fertile land, like the Riverlands. Bordering Dorne, skirmishes with the Dornishmen happen frequently.

  • Stormlands
  • A stretch of land between Dorne and King's Landing, facing Shipbreaker bay. The seat of power for the current king and his family.

  • Dorne
  • Independent and exotic, Dorne even has different terrain, with deserts and oases.

The group can either select their house or roll on a table to determine randomly.

For our example house, we're going to pick The North.

Step 2: Starting Resources
A house has seven Resources, it's mechanical representation used in the house-level mechanics.
  • Defense- Fortifications like castles, keeps and towers that the house controls as well as the infrastructure the house has for moving troops. (The north gives a +5 bonus here))
  • Influence- The level of respect and pull the house has in the Seven Kingdoms. Also deterimes how much Status the character can have. (The North gives us +10)
  • Lands- The amount of land that the house owns. (We get a whopping +20)
  • Law- This Resource measures both how law-abiding, orderly and respectful the smallfolk the house rules over are and how much the houses lands suffer from internal disorders like bandits. (-10 from realm here)
  • Population- How populous the house lands are. (-5 from being in the North)
  • Power- The strength of the houses military forces. (Northern houses have -5)
  • Wealth- The money and wealth of the house, from commercial assets and currency on hand. (Another -5)
Each Resource has a starting rating of 7d6, which is then modified by our Realm. These a handful of tables giving benchmarks that gives concrete ideas to the numbers.

Using a die roller, I got the following numbers:
Defense 25, + 5 from Realm, for a total of 30.
Influence 22, + 10 for a total of 32.
Lands 34, + 20 for a total of 54.
Law 23, - 10 for a total of 13.
Population 19, -5 for a total of 14.
Power 27, -5 for a total of 22.
Wealth 27, -5 for a total of 22.

After determining these starting scores, each player chooses one of the Resources that they want to improve. The resource gets increased by 1d6. Let's pick Law, Power and Wealth, all of them pretty low as a result of being set in the North. For the rolls I get 4, 4 and 6.

Now we're sitting at:
Defense 30.
Influence 32.
Lands 54.
Law 17.
Population 14.
Power 26.
Wealth 28.

Step 3: House History
Now we determine the history of the house, including how old it is and notable events in its past.

Determine it's founding with a d6: a result of 5 gives us Recent, meaning our house was founded around the time of the Blackfyre Rebellion, about a century and a half ago. This also determines the number of historical events we get to roll; a history of Recent means we get 1d6-1. A roll of 1 gives us a 0 :v: But! The book says be get at least one event.

To determine the event, we roll another 3d6 and it's a 7, which is Invasion/Revolt- Either a smallfolk rebellion or attack by wildlings or clansmen. Let's say that this means our house was founded after an exceptionally large and devastating attack by wildlings left huge swathes of land devastated and disorderly and our house was founded to rebuild it.

This event gives Resource modifiers : -2d6 (6) to Law, -1d6 (2) to Population, -1d6 (2) to Power and -1d6 (5) to Wealth.

Final Resources and our Benchmarks:
Defense 30. A single castle or fortified town.
Influence 32. A minor house like Clegane, Payne and Karstark.
Lands 54. A seriously enormous amount of land, equivalent to the holdings of the Starks themselves.
Law 11. Bandits and lawlessness are common along the borders of the houses territory.
Population 12. A small population, with nothing larger than a small town found anywhere.
Power 22. A modest force and some of the soldiers are trained.
Wealth 23. Enough to get by, but not exceptional wealthy.

Step 4: Holdings
Now we allocate our Resources to decide particular property the house controls.
A Defense of 30 gets us a small castle. Soldiers defending the castle get +6 Defense in mass combat.

---

Influence can be spent to gain heirs to the house. It can also be saved and burned during play to give bonuses to House Fortune rolls and players can expend it for bonuses during Intrigues.

We'll spend 20 right now to gain a first-born son and keep 12 for other use.

Additionally, the maximum Status any of the members of the house can get is determined by Influence. Our 32 gives us a maximum of 4 (not super great).

---

Points in Land is spent to determine the types of terrain and features the house controls. These determine modifiers in battle from the terrain.

At the heart, we'll take a mountain and a hamlet that serves our castle for 19. Nearby we've got some plains with heavy woods and some old ruins for 13. Plus we've got plains, grasslands, a hamlet and a major road for 21.

---

Law doesn't have any investments, instead giving a modifier to house fortune rolls. Our lovely Law of 11 means we have a -5 penalty.

---

Population works the same as Law; this time we have no modifier.

---

Power can be spent on subordinate banner houses sworn to your houses service as well as soldiers that fight for you directly.

We don't have a whole lot of Power to spare, so no banner houses.

We'll buy a unit of Trained Cavalry Garrison (10) for keeping the peace and another Trained Infantry Garrison (9) to guard our castle. Plus we've got 3 units of Green Peasant Levies. These don't cost any power; instead, our house Population takes a hit while they are called up.

---

Wealth is the house soluble resources and money making investments.

We'll buy a Maester (helps us manage our holdings), an Artisan (a castle architect that improves our castle) and a Mine (copper and makes us lots of money).

Step Five: Motto & Arms
Every family has a motto representing the house philosophy and a coat of arms that acts as their symbol.

For a motto, let's take the situation of the house founding: created to return civilization, peace and order to the devastated lands of the North. I decided on “Law and Loyalty”

The next section is a whole lot of :words: about the proper way to design a coat of arms: acceptable colors and combinations, patterns and symbology. Let's not worry about that right now.

Step Six: Household
The final step is to define the important individuals in the household. The lord and lady that lead the house are extremely important, but there's lots of other people associated with an entire noble house worth defining.

This house creation stuff is supposed to happen before character creation, so we have a few characters already named and positioned. Normally you would sketch out the characters here and then people decide who they want to be.

The house Lord is Hother Sunderly. An archetypical old warhorse, he marched with the Starks during Robert's Rebellion. In his 60s now, he had a single son from his late wife, the house heir Rodrick. Far from the lustiest man even in his youth, his recent political marriage to the young widow of an heirless minor lord to combine their lands remains unconsummated over a month later.

The Lady is Marya Sunderly. Young and intelligent, but denied education due to her gender and desperately bored of the North, she loves hearing stories of the rest of Westeros and beyond. A great deal of her time is spent with Maester Eustace, who has taught her to read and write and tells her stories. She is absolutely infatuated with him and his mind, and his status as a eunuch is probably the only thing keeping the relationship from turning into a full blown affair.

House Heir is Rodrick Sunderly. Rodrick is the exact opposite of his military-minded, gruff and not especially quick-thinking father; he's smart, smooth talking and pursues the fine art of politicking, horse-trading and blackmail as a hobby. Although not to the point of wishing his father dead, he still thinks he would make a much better lord, believing his father doesn't have the know-how or inclination to manage the realm properly, especially with his age. Is quite upset that his father was chosen to score a hot young bride instead of him, on account of everyone important within 250 miles are a bunch of grizzles warriors who don't like his smooth talking ways.

The house Maester is Maester Eustace. As a young boy, he was embroiled in a plot by his uncle to seize his birthright as heir of a noble family in the south after his father died unexpectedly. Kidnapped, castrated and prepared to be shipped across the ocean and sold into slavery, he was rescued by a loyal vassal of his father. His maiming cost him his inheritance, however, as his family line would die with him. His lands given to another, he traveled to the Citadel and became a Maester. Not a fan of the North, but is polite enough to not make a fuss about it.

The house Man-at-Arms is Victarion Snow. Born a bastard, he grew up hearing stories of heroic knights and of his nobleman father. When Northerners marched south during Robert's Rebellion, he marched with them, acquiting himself well in battle. However, in the south he saw the knights he had admired as a child acting like a bunch of shits, and they looked down on him as an incompetent, uncouth Northern bumpkin. Only, he's not an incompetent and in the war proved himself an ice-cold killing machine.

ThisIsNoZaku fucked around with this message at 05:56 on Aug 20, 2013

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Bieeardo posted:

I'm not sure whether to hide under my desk or get ready to laugh like a supervillain again.

Wait. One of those things that appeared in 3.5E in the epic level handbook? Hoo boy...

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Today, on a Very Special Episode of...



...we tackle the rigors of chargen, and of being a superhumanly powerful woman in a universe devised by the men who both fantasize about them, and live in fear of being rendered irrelevant by them.

An Enormous Manchild posted:

We wrote this game for anyone who enjoys the AC Comics style of showcasing superheroic women in tighter-than-skintight outfits fighting crime and performing spectacular feats while occasionally suffering a moderately embarrassing or humorous occcurrences.

Which is to say that you can play men, and that girl gamers are welcome to join too, but we'll look at both of you in the same funny way that we do that guy who always rolls female characters in more mainstream RPGs.

This passage is particularly important, because as we'll see later, they have some really weird ideas about what counts as 'moderately embarrassing' or 'humorous', even for a bunch of guys writing a game about pretending to be super-girls in 1993.

Super Babes character generation is point-based, like GURPS or HERO: 600 character points buys your character's Origin, Attributes, Powers and Skills-- or 500 points does, if, as it says just below, the GM decides to hold 100 back for later character development. In theory, not a bad idea. In practice, thanks to a complete lack of sidebars, boxed blurbs, or other formatting beyond Wordperfect's column spacing algorithm, it gets tossed in in the same breath and just confuses matters. Not a good first step for a game that claims to be easy to learn and play.


Of course there's a field for measurements.

Chargen begins with the selection of an Origin from a list of ten. Not all origins are created equal, and origins have a character point cost that ranges from zero to a whopping two hundred of your six hundred points. There are mechanical benefits and drawbacks to each, a thematic package deal that involves enough ifs, ands, or buts that the whole thing could have been tossed without anyone being the wiser. It reminds me unpleasantly of the character classes from Heroes Unlimited.

In order they are:

Adventuress - At zero Character Points, this is the bargain hunter's Origin. Or rather the relic hunter's, because this Origin allows you to spend precisely zero points on powers, and your stats cap out at a near-superhuman 20 across the board. You do have the option of starting with a single Gizmo (the rules for which will be touched on later), or beginning as a millionaire, which allows you to spend half your worth on gear at chargen, and nets you another cool million every time you go up a level.

Yes, level. Point based chargen, level based advancement. Not exactly a chocolate and peanut-butter combination, no.

So, yeah. A single super-item that you can't mod, fix, or do anything but press the button marked 'go' on... or half a million dollars to spend on... absolutely nothing. There's precisely one equipment table in the book, and it's just combat stats for a collection of generic weapons. Want prices on gear? Better consult the Sears catalogue.

Not that the authors seem to particularly care for this Origin, either:

Adventuress posted:

Remember, though, the thing about being a millionairess is that nonprofit groups are always after your money, you have to pay taxes on it, and somebody may try to steal or wreck your comapny... Whew! Almost sounds like it's not worth the trouble, huh?

Yeah. Those evil, conniving, non-profit organizations.

Oh, hey. I just noticed that 'Origins' in the header on every left-hand page is misspelled. Awesome.

Artificial Being - Our second Origin, weighing in at 25 CP, and our first good taste of the writer's WTFery. These are your andr-- pardon, gynoids, your clones, anything that comes off an assembly line or out of a vat.

Artificial Being posted:

This type of character has many disadvantages...

What? I can see the Adventuress being a gotcha Origin, but we're paying points for this! Anyway, let's see where it goes...

quote:

...she must either roll on the scientific accident origin's life expectancy chart at +6, be subject to her creator's whims, or be subject to a classic paralyzing phobia (claustrophobia, hydrophobia, gynophobia, whatever) that will incapacitate the character whenever she is confronted by it, until she can roll under her WILL stat on percentile dice.

I... there isn't enough deodorant for that passage. Jesus Christ. Okay. Taking it from the top:

Yes, another Origin gets to roll to see how long they live. It's 'optional', in the same way that having a dire phobia or being mind controlled by your master is 'optional' in this case. For the 'Being who takes this option, they'll live a minimum of two weeks, and an average of a year.

The second is straightforwardly horrible. No resistance checks, no arguing, GM says your master says 'do this', you do that. Examples given include acting a certain way, looking a certain way, or even robbing banks a certain way. Just what every PC needs: a loss of agency baked right in.

Third... seriously, gynophobia? Projecting a little, guys? Sure it's an example, but goddamn is it a lovely example for a game like this. Claustrophobia, fear of the dark-- why not good old FIRE BAD! for those who just rose from a slab?

That WILL roll to resist? Average score's 9-11. Even if you're a smart-arse and buy it up to 100 or higher, you're still boned for a full round after you made your check.

But that's not all! You need to decide whether or not you're technological or organic. A gynoid is immune to Control Minds, but vulnerable to Control Machines, and an organic construct vice-versa. If you're a cyborg? Then you're vulnerable to both, and your WILL is halved when trying to resist. Nice try though!

Corporate Sponsored - Our first (and only) Origin with a variable cost: ten points a rank, up to ten ranks. Your powers have either been granted to you, or amplified to the point of usefulness, by the magic of money (and probably unethical scientific experiments) and in return for maybe having access to corporate facilities, they own your rear end.

quote:

...the character will often have to perform services... such as attending supermarket openings... or perhaps even escort duty for visiting VIP's! "Yeah, that one, the little filly in the skintight suit! That's the one I want to show me the town tonight!"

Ugh. We're only sixteen pages in, and these asshats are already wearing the creep on their sleeves.

Anyway, your paycheque, access to company facilities, and responsibilities to the company are all related to how many points you dumped into the Origin. For every 10 points, you get access to $10,000 worth of company gear and the same amount in salary per year. Every twenty points, you aways have at least one BP, and your BEs will probably be tied to corporate events. What are BPs and BEs? They're... soon. They demand top billing.

Speaking of billing, the sponsored heroine has to perform paperwork! Actually need to borrow that corporate car? Be ready for it to take 20 minus your PERSONALITY score (average of 9-11 again) DAYS for it to filter through. If for whatever reason your PERSONALITY is five or lower, someone 'loses' the requisition. Every time.

You also have to pay to replace borrowed kit that gets damaged or destroyed, which is... fair, sure. What's bullshit here is the paragraph that boils down to 'pay for what you wrecked, or you can only borrow that much less' somehow manages to be longer than the one that details the mechanics of requisitioning stuff in the first place.

Extraterrestrial or Extradimensional - 25 CP, and another huge gotcha. This time, you're from so far out of town that you will be 'unable to start game play with many of the skills from the skills list relevant to the planet Earth'. Which skills? How so affected? Well, the example given is firing a gun, so... all of them, probably!

You can buy Earthly skills though... after you've advanced a level, and assuming you have the CP to spend, and you're always going to be stuck at an Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer level of familiarity with Earth customs.

Of course, right after the book mentions Earth customs, there's a picture of a winsome lass thinking 'THIS is the human mating ritual??!!'

This is the first Origin that's specifically called out as being cheap because it provides nothing but a big, honking pain in the rear end. Until now, I thought Origins were benefits. 25 points for nothing but bending a character over? Forget that, these things are a tax.

Genetic Quirk - 32 points? Why 32 exactly? Who knows! You're an X-Man, your powers are innate and inseparable from you, but all your life you've known that you were Different, and never learned how to communicate properly. In this lone case, it's 'creepy' that you can fly, and even when you're in mundane ID, other people can sense that you're weeeeeird and 'act accordingly'. What's 'accordingly'? That's up to your GM. If you're fortunate, 32 points is where the Origin Tax breaks even.

Government Sponsored - For whatever reason, this one's exactly 18 CP, which makes me wonder if these guys were deducting point costs from some hidden pool, or more likely just pulling numbers out of their asses. This one has a whole drat table of rear end-pulling attached.

quote:

GOVERNMENT SPONSORED heroines are directly responsible to their superiors, who can make the character's life miserable in more ways than you can count.

Fan-loving-tastic. It goes on to describe the heroine and her husband wrecking their car, losing their jobs, dude breaking his leg, and medical insurance that won't cover him because of an obscure clause, all because she turned down a job with General...

What? No. Why the flying gently caress would someone subject themselves to this kind of bullshit caprice, especially in a supposedly rules-light, light-hearted game that is supposed to be about golden-to-silver age superheroics?

Oh, and you're monitored fully half the time, and can be dragged into providing services for whatever branch or bit of alphabet soup you work for. But you get a paycheque! A paycheque that has a (5% times level) chance of improving a grade, checked once a year. You can borrow gear too... maybe. That's at a 5% chance (times level, again), with a maximum value equal to your level times your salary... assuming you've filled out the loving paperwork. This time the paperwork takes ONE HUNDRED DAYS, less four days per point of Personality, and if your Personality is five or less, someone will 'lose' the paperwork halfway through and you'll have to start again... only for it to happen again, because your Personality is below 6.


Did they source this from somewhere? These are some pointlessly spergy numbers!

Inventor - For a whopping two hundred points, one might think this Origin would be sitting head and shoulders above the rest... and one would be wrong. See, 175 points of that is the Inventor skill and... well, the system hates inventors, more than any other superhero game system I've encountered.

At chargen, you can make up to three Gizmos (which duplicate powers, and which cost CP), and at each level beyond that you can make a new one or improve an existing one. Not bad at first glance, but you're stuck with a single theme to your inventions at chargen. Want to play Rachel the Rocketeer? Great! Just... all of your gizmos will be flying machines. No guns, no tinfoil hats, just flying machines. Oh, and you can jury-rig broken stuff. Whee.

For a third of your default starting points? That's a pretty serious gently caress You.

Scientific Accident - Five whole points. Remember the Artificial Being? This is where they get that life expectancy table. For five points, you were exposed to mutagenic ooze, or atomic radiation, and now you've got super-powers and super cancer. At worst? You've got an hour to live. At best, twenty years. On a dead-average roll, three months. Or...

...you just don't know your own strengths. Yep. Terminal illness, or you just don't know exactly how fast you can fly, or that you can fly, necessarily, until one session you happen to miss the ground. Or worse, your GM might be old enough to remember The Greatest American Hero.


Remember: this chart is optional... in the sense that if you don't like it, you can opt to take another Origin! :v:

Supernatural Accident - Fifteen points, and at this point I'm resigned to the realization that these guys are pulling values out of their asses. This one might grant the character powers from an entity that wants those powers back. Or it might be like the non-cancerous version of the previous Origin, and you just don't know your eyebeams from your Invocation of Isis. Or your power may be self-aware and have its own plans, like world domination, or possessing that fertile body it's been attached to. In the case of villainesses, the last one might be bound to an object-- like a simple gold ring that's exceptionally resistant to heat and... wait, no. That's too subtle for this game.

Supernatural Pupil - Another excuse to bone the player, and this time you're paying 50 points for the privilege. You have a mentor, an entity somewhere in power between Cthuhlu and Galactus. There's a flat 25% chance that they'll be watching at any given point in time, and if they catch you misbehaving they'll pull you out of reality 'for a little 'instructive discipline''. And if the world is absolutely, categorically about to end, you have a 5% chance (times level, of course) to call your mentor to intercede on behalf of delicious humanity.

Oh, and you might start with a gizmo too, if your GM is okay with that.

Multiple Origins

Yes, you can mix them! Kind of. Take two Origins, pay the most expensive cost, and... get the benefits and drawbacks of both. Yay.

Oh, unless you're an Adventuress. Whatever you combine with that one, you still can't take powers, and you still can't raise your stats above 20... but you might draw a government paycheque, or have virulently erupting super-tumors. Yay!

The intriguingly titled Everything That You Know is a Lie is half a page of long-winded explanation that yes, you and your GM can change your Origin at a later date if it isn't working out, or set you up with a 'fake' origin (whether you the player know or not)... but curiously forgets to include salient mechanics. Do you lose the benefits of your old Origin, like gizmos paid for with CP? Do you have to pay the difference between the 'fake' one and the new, better more expensive one? Who knows!

The Origins section ends with a couple of paragraphs on linking origins between characters, which has nothing to do with Origin origins, but rather coming up with excuses for the characters to be working together.

Next step is determining your Primary Characteristics which, as luck would have it, map directly on to the classic D&D attributes (plus Unearthed Arcana bolt-on, Comeliness). Attributes cost 2 CP per point, and the chart starts at zero... but human average is usually (usually) in the 9-11 range: so in order to reach baseline average, you're blowing through another 140 of your 600 (or 500!) points. But speaking of assholes:


This kind of poo poo makes Kevin Siembieda's rants look downright dignified.

Y'know what would have been shorter, better, and easier than that odious little screed? Simply stating 'All PCs must have at least a 1 in all stats.' Boom. Done. Almost as easily, they could have dropped their always-be-adding math, default stats to 10 across the board, and reduce base CP accordingly. I say 'almost', because for whatever asinine reason, not all stats share the same average range. Penalties for low stats? They're baked in, with the exception of Looks and Personality, and the latter is specifically called out in several Origins.

Each stat follows a different progression table, which makes sense given that they're borrowing heavily from AD&D's highly differentiated attributes, and that some affect secondary stats in complementary ways and different rates. What makes less sense is that stat maximums vary from 300 to 1,000 points, and even more strangely, there is no flat average range where there are no meaningful modifiers.
D&D and its variants have carried 9-12 as an average range, because that's what an average roll of 3d6, rounded up and down, will give you. Super Babes doesn't, and that's fine-- it's point-buy and, while it's aping its ancestors, it isn't bound to the old bell curve. What it doesn't do is assign an absolutely average score. Some stats claim 9-10 is average. Some are 9-11. One even claims 10-12. It's like they didn't understand the basis of what they were working from, and just threw numbers at the wall. It's weird, because from 1-20, the tables do their best to bump modifiers up or down for every two points in a stat. Beyond 20 though, the scale shifts abruptly.
Each table has a column for a stat's 'class', which the writers admit is straight-up meaningless. Its purpose seems to be making the tables wider, while aping old AD&D's intelligence scale, or boxing weight classes. It comes off as cargo cult FASERIP adjectives assigned in nonsensical order, where 'Buff' stands above 'Peak Performer' as the capstone of normal human strength, and the supernatural range spirals out in a flurry of random jabs at a thesaurus. Seriously, 550 MUSCLES ranks merely as 'Remarkable', where 500 is 'Impossible'?

MUSCLES determines how much damage you deal with melee and thrown object attacks, the amount you can lift (which is important, given that huge table of increasingly large, improvised melee weapons), and modifies your hit-point analogue. Below the 9-10 average, you're losing starting HP and taking a penalty to melee damage.
The lifting calculations are flat-out weird: take your stat value and multiply it by a number that varies by rank. From 1-10, the lift value is 20 lbs. Yes, this means that an average, everyday human can lift and hold 200 pounds over their head. Go up to an 11, where the chart jumps to 50 lbs/point, and you're suddenly beating world records with a deadlift of 500 pounds. Someone with a 20, the peak of normal human strength? She's hoisting half a ton.
Beyond 20, each new class raises your HP by ten points and adds another 1d6 to your thrown/melee damage. This is big, already: Everyone starts with 1d6 hp, a punch does 1d6 before modifiers, and the average pistol deals 2d6. By going into the realm of super strength alone, you're making yourself harder to kill and making it easier to turn lesser heroines into tent pegs.
Muscles goes up to 1000. It's highly unlikely that any PC will reach that point, but I suppose it's there if you really, really need something that gets an extra 220 hit points, can deadlift one billion pounds and dole out another 22d6 damage atop whatever's granted by the enormous object it's doubtlessly toting.

HEALTH follows the same progression as MUSCLES, from zero on up to a thousand, with the average sitting square at 9-10. This stat modifies hit points at the same rate as MUSCLES from 0-30, beyond which the bonus per class rises to 25. It's also one of two stats that govern the regeneration of Power Points (PP), the juice that drives a character's super abilities, and natural healing rate. An average person at rest regenerates 1 PP every ten rounds, and 1d6 hit points per day.
How long is a round? Oh, that's... that's defined 65 pages later, as six seconds during combat and... one minute outside of combat, which may or may not be called out as non-combat rounds. At least they have the decency to define PP in another few pages, after the stats section.
At the bottom rung of the superhuman range, a heroine regains 1 PP every 10 combat rounds, and one every non-combat round, which... works out to the same amount, funnily enough. It's also really anemic, as we'll see shortly. Oh, and she regenerates 3d10 damage a day too.
Meanwhile, at a score of 1000, your 'GODLIKE' entity gets an extra 600 hits, regenerates 30 PP every six seconds in combat and... 50 PP every sixty seconds outside of combat (non-combat rounds being a minute long), a bizarre discrepancy that sneaks in all the way back at the 31-50 level. Or maybe they're both rated in combat rounds? Who knows, thanks to their idiotic naming scheme! (Flipping ahead to WILL, it's implied that they do mean non-combat rounds in the latter case... which is... yeah.)
What isn't vague is the italicized 'sidebar' where they spend a paragraph passive-aggressively accusing the reader of looking for loopholes, before declaring that in a conflict between HEALTH's PP regeneration and WILL's, you take the better effect, and don't combine them.
Oh hey! On top of that, spending absurd amounts on HEALTH has fringe benefits: A score of 100 (not 101, where the next class starts) makes you immune to Earthly diseases; 200, you're immune to Earthly drugs and poisons; 300...
300 makes me wonder if they did a single proofreading run of this, because at that point you begin to regenerate hits at the same rate you do PP, which obviates the need for the last third of the hits-regained-per-day column. Oh, 10d10 looks impressive, but when you're guaranteed to get 360 back in an hour, and recover from going below zero hp without medical attention, it's wholly extraneous.
At 400, you're immune to the long-term effects of radiation. According to the paragraph-long rules for such at the very end of the book, this means you won't get cancer. At least, not from that.
500... you regenerate 1 hit per round, even if you're below zero. You know, just like you could back at 300, only inexplicably slower.

MOVES maps to Dexterity. It modifies your to-hit checks, your movement rate, your... 'hittability' (read: Armor Class) and curiously enough, adds another small modifier to hit points. Oh, and grants you an initiative bonus equal to 1/10 your score, but that didn't make it to the table for some reason.
MOVES scales from 0 to 500, with an average of 10-12, where you get no bonus to hit or to hit points, have a base movement of 4" (presumably scale) and a base hittability of... 4. A peak-normal human gets +3 hit points, +3 to hit, and has both a hittability and movement rate of 8. Oh, and +2 to initiative checks.
This table scales at a glacial pace, ironically enough, with a 'GODDESS-LIKE' 500 scoring an extra sixty hit points, +8 to hit, 20" of movement and a hittability of 20. Oh, and... +50 to initiative, which is probably on a d20.

LOOKS... oh, god. Looks are looks, not charisma, which is PERSONALITY. It... it modifies hit points, of all things. That's it. And hoo boy, does it expose some assumptions while doing so.
LOOKS scales from 0 to 300, with a human average of 9-11. It is probably the only stat that really needs those adjectival classes, because... it only affects hit points, and only at extreme ranges.
A LOOKS of 0 nets you an extra ten hit points, while merely being a 'SKANK' at 3-5 points nets you +4. From 'AVERAGE' to 'MAJOR BABE' (9-18), there are no modifiers. At the very top range of natural humanity, the vaunted 'MARVELOUS!' you get... -1 hit point.
That's right. The prettier you are, the more delicate you are... which speaks volumes about these guys' aesthetic senses and ideals of femininity.
LOOKS becomes a bigger trap as you go on, where a 'GODDESS' at a score of 300 is down fully thirty hit points because... because... she probably has a waist like a wine glass's stem: a fraction of an inch across, and made of glass.

BRAINS is intelligence and, according to the book, your score times ten correlates directly to your measurable IQ. Whatever. Double whatever, given the book goes on to say:

BRAINS! posted:

There aren't that many geniuses in the AC universe, so this statistic isn't a highly prized one in this neck of the woods.
Neat, intelligence is a dump stat. I suppose that makes sense for a setting where superheroines routinely wear 'tighter than skintight spandex' and put up with being treated as the office toy, when they could be benching Buicks or setting themselves up as the eternal rulers of third-world countries. Don't want to threaten the readership, nosiree!
Ahem. BRAINS scales from 0 to 300, with an average of 9-11, and modifies hit points, mental to-hit, and mental hittability. That's it. Amusingly, a score of 0-2 gives a bonus to hit points, presumably because you're too stupid to feel it, and something with a 0 is as hard to hit with mind-beams as something with a 'SUPRA GENIUS' score of 100. Merely dumb characters get a penalty to hit points, probably because they're too dumb to get out of the way.
Someone of average intelligence gets nothing but a mental hittability of 3. The borderline superhuman 'SAVANT' gets +1 hit point, +2 to hit with mental attacks, and a mental hittability of 7.
This is another one that scales fairly slowly, with the so-called 'OMNISCIENT' with a score of 300 snagging +5 hits, +5 to hit with brain-stuff, and a mental hittability of 14.
Amusingly, the 'brains class' description reads: 'a humorous name for each class of intellect. No offensive intended.'
Thanks for clearing that up, Mr. Wizard.

WILL... may not actually map onto Wisdom, depending on how you vaguely define it, but anyway. It apparently has something to do with inflicting or resisting mind control, but that isn't so much as touched on here. What is are... more hit point bonuses, and regenerating both power points and hit points.
WILL ranges from 0 to 500. Below-average WILL gets you a penalty to hit points, no PP regeneration, and 0-1 hits regenerated per day of bed rest. The average person at 9-11 will regenerate 1d3 hits per day of bed rest. They repeat the same warning that you take the better of WILL or HEALTH regeneration rates, and double down on HEALTH's stupid out-of-combat regeneration rate.
WILL makes no distinction ('differential' in their spell-checker's choice of words) between in-combat and out-of-combat rounds... so someone with a 12 WILL regenerates 1 PP every minute in combat... and every ten minutes just hanging around. Why? Who knows. There are no suggestions involving pumping adrenaline, or reaching into reserves of inner strength... just a weird rule that makes you regain stamina faster when you're exerting yourself.
At the peak of human conditioning, a character gets +4 hit points, regenerates 1 PP every two rounds, and regenerates 1d6+3 hit points for every day of rest, assuming their HEALTH score doesn't have effects that supersede the latter two. At a score of 500, someone with 'ENDLESS' WILL gets fifty five extra hits, regenerates ten PP per round, and regenerates 10d10 hit points per day of rest.

PERSONALITY See 'LOOKS'. No, I'm not joking, it's the same identical table, from zero to three hundred. Being nice and personable (but apparently not forceful) makes you physically wimpier.
Remember that (god help me) 'weasel alert' from earlier? That's in here because these idiots made not one, not two, but three dump stats, two of which will actually harm your character if you buy them up. Personality at least is a two-edged sword, with a couple of Origins having built-in gotchas for characters that take it at a critically low level, but this is exquisitely bad, reactionary game design, lovely patches against 'weasel' players where a pre-launch overhaul would have tightened things up tremendously and left no one the wiser.

Secondary Statistics

Power Points are more than I thought they were. They are the means with which you power your super abilities, perform most attacks and combat maneuvers... and they are also your first layer of hit points, too, Super Babes's way of simulating superheroines shrugging off massive amounts of damage. This means that they're just about constantly depleting during combat, and unless you're being very stingy and dumped a lot of points into WILL or HEALTH, you're not actually going to get any back during the fight.
Power Points are calculated by taking the sum of all your primary stats. That's it. An unlikely character with tens across the board will have 70 PP, and an Adventuress who pegs all her stats at 20 (they can't go above human maximum, remember) will have 140... but since she might have one Gizmo to power, hers are mostly padding. At the same time, if she maxed LOOKS and PERSONALITY, she'll have less than optimal...

HTK, or Hits to Kill, or Hit Points, as I called them above, because there's trying to look like you're not cribbing from D&D, and going far enough that you look like a complete idiot doing so. TSR was litigious as Hell in those days, yes, but hit points had been a generic concept for a very long time, even then.
While only heroines and certain sorts of NPCs have PP, everyone has HTK. HTK are calculated by consulting every primary stat table, because all of them modify it, and... adding 1d6. When you go up a level, you get to add another 1d6. If a later stat boost nudges you into a class that grants more HTK, you get the difference. Riveting.
What are they for? Not dying, primarily. Secondarily, and wackily, you can burn them like PP to power your... powers and maneuvers, at the rate of 2 HTK per PP you would have otherwise spent. They're also for not passing out: each time you take damage to HTK, or spend them voluntarily, you have to roll d% against your new total or faint for one round for every three points you blew the roll by. Since Super Babes is trying to simulate the sort of universe where heroines are knocked out, tied up, and humiliated in a wholesome manner, and villainesses are knocked out and dragged to jail until they inevitably break out, it works... but it doesn't work well. Why risk players missing multiple rounds of combat on a bad roll? Why not just have people fall down when they reach zero HTK? There's a weird dissonance between the stated goal of high-power, light-hearted superheroics and this need for the potential for lethality.
Dying happens when something pounds you down to negative your maximum HTK. Prior to that you can apparently survive at negative HTK values indefinitely, but until someone uses the Healing power to bring you up above zero, or you convalesce under medical care (or you've got a HEALTH of 300+), you can't regenerate PP or HTK.
Seriously. Old-school superheroes. Who the hell wants to figure out how long Batman has to stay in bed because Darkseid drop-kicked him through a building?

FAME is a wholly useless statistic that nonetheless takes up three quarters of a page. What does it do? It lets your GM roll 1d20 to see if you're recognized in costume. That's it. There's a table with penalties for distance from your stomping grounds, and one for awarding boosts to your intrinsic FAME, but it's of no use beyond determining whether someone recognizes you or not... something that your GM could probably be trusted to fiat, even back in 1993.

XP - Point-based chargen, level-based progression. Why? Probably D&D again-- there's a table later on that looks suspiciously like an old AD&D to-hit matrix. Suggested XP rewards include defeating villainesses (100 xp times the villain's level, split evenly among the heroes involved), handling crises like helping Batman with a pesky bomb, or retrieving a kitty from a tree (100-500 xp, depending on how much grief you went through), and roleplaying (up to 100 xp per character). XP is awarded at the end of a session, so you won't level up in the middle of things.

CHARACTER LEVELS range from zero to twenty-five. Yep: you start at level zero, with zero XP. Take heart, because level one starts at one XP, you are guaranteed to level up at the end of your first session... assuming you get that far. Each level has a title, ranging from 'New kid on the block' at zero and 'Babe in skin tight costume' (ugh) at one, to the not passive-aggressive at all 'About time to retire and let someone else have a chance' at twenty five.
Leveling up gives you 1d6 HTK and 50 CP, the latter which you can bank to buy more expensive powers later. It also moves your spot on the to-hit matrix.

BIMBO POINTS - In a Bizarro universe, this could be an interesting mechanic. On the surface, it works something like World of Darkness Willpower, or Mutants and Masterminds Hero Points: they're an opportunity to break the rules and potentially do something amazing. While Willpower is a limited resource, and Hero Points are usually given as a consolation prize for the GM putting a character in a bind, Bimbo Points are a Faustian bargain and sword of Damocles rolled into a noxious whole.
By taking a BP, you can guarantee that an action you perform, if it is at all possible, will succeed with no roll necessary.
By taking two BP, you get to do something that falls outside the rules. The given example is a guy who opens teleportals, because there's no Open Wormholes power.
You can accrue a maximum of three BP a session.
What's the big deal with BP? They're a time bomb. At the beginning of each session the GM rolls d20 against your BP total. If he rolls under, you're going to suffer a Bimbo Event at some point during the session. A Bimbo Event is fate laying the smackdown for your having the temerity to have done something amazing. While the book claims that Bimbo Events are supposed to be 'generally lighthearted' and represent the 'humor found in Americomics'... but see the Corporate Heroine above for an example of their sense of humour.
This book, this universe, was devised by men who love the idea of spandex-clad supermodels zipping through the sky, and are simultaneously terrified that these women might not have need or desire for them. This is a book where gynophobia was in the writers' top three suggested fears.
Bimbo Events are not funny. They're humiliating. They're shaming. They're sometimes even dangerous. Consider the Corporate Heroine. The quoted passage could be the beginning of a BE. One who has the temerity to climb the corporate ladder high enough to spend 20 points or more on her Origin will always have at least one BP, and a proportion of her Bimbo Events will be work-related. I don't know how they did things in Chucklefuck, Florida, but workplace harassment had been PSA-worthy around here for yeeeaaaarrrrs by the time it was printed. But don't take my word for it. Let's consult the table.
There's a table? Of course there's a table. It's d%, even.

6-8: Character is sexually harassed by superior. (Hilarious!)
20-22: Someone steals the character's identity. (Possibly literally!)
23: Two words: IRS Audit. (What is this game's obsession with money?)
25-35: Character's costume destroyed during battle in public. (No entry for 24.)
36-39: Character gains 10 pounds- and everybody notices. (...what?)
40-44: Men's magazine publishes compromising pictures of character. (It's not an invasion of privacy: it's surprise snapshots!)
80-81: Character accused of sexual harassment.
83-86: Character is kidnaped (sic) by aliens or extradimensionals (For reasons that include 'to be their queen' and 'for breeding stock'.)
87: Character is evicted or foreclosed upon! (Money again!)
99: Character's acne flares up for one game, reducing her LOOKS by 1d6. (Might be able to get some HTK out of this one.)

There are a few silly events (getting 'slimed') and one or two that might work as actual plots (cult decides you must be sacrificed), but... sexual harassment in two different spots. Losing your costume fully ten percent of the time. This poo poo isn't funny, it's nasty. I can just imagine one of those rare-as-unicorns female tabletop players putting up with the steady Geiger tick of creepy coming from the book, and probably the guys who thought it was a great game to try, only for the game itself to tell her she's unwelcome. I'm imagining icicles forming in that Pensacola rec room.

On the bright side, your BP score goes back down to zero after your Event. Unless you're that Corporate Heroine smashing a hole through the glass ceiling. She's always got at least one Bimbo Point, just because.

I need to go take a shower.

Next Session: Super Powers, and Beyond!

Bieeanshee fucked around with this message at 07:23 on Aug 22, 2013

ThisIsNoZaku
Apr 22, 2013

Pew Pew Pew!


Cythereal posted:

Wait. One of those things that appeared in 3.5E in the epic level handbook? Hoo boy...

:siren: :spergin: ALERT :siren:

Epic Level Handbook was 3.0.

:siren: END :spergin: ALERT :siren:

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Awful things have been all over the place. BECMI's equivalent of epic, and again in Immortals. Mid-late 2nd Edition AD&D and again in 3E Epic. The 2E one doesn't have the bag of tricks they gave it in 3E, but it's still sufficiently bastardy.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



Has D&D ever worked mechanically at high levels?

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


I used to play with a guy at much younger age who loved the hell out of Superbabes (even more than his beloved Champions). He also hated pretty much any TV show after the 1960s and was convinced most modern media was too "dark". He thought Cutey Honey was probably the only anime worth watching and was the sort to have replace his windows sounds with a female porn voice (a breathey minimize will basically be seared into my brain forever). When a friend was deciding on an Asian nationality for his Champions character, this guy remarked "what does it matter? A gook's a gook."

Just a random anecdote, though, I'm not saying his guy was representative of Superbabes fandom or anything like that. That'd just be silly. :shobon:

Evil Mastermind posted:

Has D&D ever worked mechanically at high levels?

The majority of games have a "break point" where their math fails; the big difference is that every version of D&D expects you to play to that point and well past it.

goatface
Dec 5, 2007

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

I remember it being shit.




Grimey Drawer

D&D at high levels has turned into spell lists the size of phonebooks, basic enemies with stat-blocks that run over multiple sheets of paper, or so many different effects, zones, auras, reactions, interrupts and god knows what else active at once that you need a flow-chart to work your way through a turn.

It works, sort of, but it's not what I'd call enjoyable.

Cardiovorax
Jun 5, 2011

I mean, if you're a successful actress and you go out of the house in a skirt and without underwear, knowing that paparazzi are just waiting for opportunities like this and that it has happened many times before, then there's really nobody you can blame for it but yourself.

D&D at high levels basically should be played like a game of Nobilis. There's nothing else that's at all tolerable.

GimmickMan
Dec 27, 2011



Bieeardo posted:

Superbabes.

Of course the one good idea they've got in 'Power at a Price'-style mechanics is ruined by being used in a really creepy way. Its like game designers are loving allergic to allowing people to have a fun time.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

TK-31 posted:

Of course the one good idea they've got in 'Power at a Price'-style mechanics is ruined by being used in a really creepy way. Its like game designers are loving allergic to allowing people to have a fun time.

At its core, it's a neat idea: You push, and the universe eventually pushes back. Karma, the way people so often misuse the term. But instead of forcing a reroll to balance that one in a million shot, or making your powers briefly behave strangely because you pushed them into realms beyond imagining... the universe resorts to shaming tactics. An arsenal of them.

I think part of that allergy to fun, like the attitude behind the various 'weasel alerts', comes from a defensiveness I remember from AD&D and its relatives during the late Eighties and through the end of TSR. It's the idea that Rules As Written are set in stone, and anyone who violates them is a dirty cheat, or a munchkin who doesn't understand the checks and balances necessary for real, proper gaming. Colour inside the lines, and the universe might not start a vicious whispering campaign against you.

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007





Bieeardo posted:


Did they source this from somewhere? These are some pointlessly spergy numbers!


They did, actually:

http://archive.opm.gov/oca/pre1994/GS1993.asp

They used the same step as the grade for GS-1 through GS-10 and then kept GS-11 through GS-15 at step 10.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Aha, thank you! Something about the numbers just felt too... weird to have been pulled out of somebody's rear end. Now I'm wondering if that was the result of someone getting fussy about their military-related verisimilitude or, like the bulk of the writing, apparently meant to fill page space.

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007





Bieeardo posted:

Aha, thank you! Something about the numbers just felt too... weird to have been pulled out of somebody's rear end. Now I'm wondering if that was the result of someone getting fussy about their military-related verisimilitude or, like the bulk of the writing, apparently meant to fill page space.

Probably both, and I suspect one of the writers was a federal employee or had a relative who was at the time.

The General Schedule is what most US Government civilian employees are paid on. Above GS there are some senior grades that loosely correspond to military flag rank for the various federal services (Senior Executive Service, SES, is the most common).

Bitchtits McGee
Jul 1, 2011



Cynical-Pop Meikyuu Kingdom Dungeon Theater

Chapter 3.2: Court Is Now In Session

Once you've got all the characters rolled up and the little details hammered out, it's time to start actually playing the game. The first part of every session will be the Kingdom Phase, which itself follows a progression of four sub-phases: Prologue, Round-Table, Action Resolution, and Departure.

Prologue

By design, a solid chunk o' roleplay. How much or how little your group breaks off is a matter of individual taste, but should at the bare minimum include the GM's background exposition, the introduction of this session's adventure (most typically in the form of a citizen's petition), and the PCs' reaction to same.

Round-Table

Now that everybody knows what's happening, it's time for the Court to put its collective heads together and decide what to do about it. Of course, the answer to this is will probably generally boil down to "strap on our swords and go kill things until the problem goes away", but there's a bit more involved when you've also got a kingdom to take care of (roleplaying not strictly required, but recommended, I mean it's a roleplaying game, what did you even come here for, geez):

  • Organization - One by one, each player petitions the Royalty for as many <Staff> as they think they'll need in the dungeon. The Royalty then assigns everyone a number of <Staff> taken from the Kingdom's <Population> based on the merit of their arguments.
  • Budget - Same basic principle, only the Vizier takes point this time (or the Royalty again, if there isn't one present), while everybody else pesters him to buy them things:
    • Each player may request one Common Item with a Cost less than or equal to the Kingdom's current (Quality of Life).
    • Facilities can be built by deducting the Cost from the Kingdom's <Treasury>. These things get their own chapter later, so I'll save the details for then.
    • Passageways can be added or destroyed for 1 MG apiece.

Action Resolution

Once the Kingdom's good and prepped, the Landmakers have just enough time before heading out to make some personal preparations. Action Resolution lasts for one Cycle, which means everybody gets just one turn, but there's no mention of any particular order to follow, so fight it out between yourselves, I guess. Your options run as follows:

  • Aid- and most Plan-type Actions from Skills, Facilities or Items can be performed at this time (if not, it'll say so specifically on the card). Co-Operative Actions are also permissible. You're welcome to try any others, but it's up to the GM whether or not to allow them
  • Create an Item from its component Materials, as listed on the card. Multiples of the same Item may be created in the same action so long as there are enough Materials on hand to do so.
  • Send your <Staff> to Gather Information on the dungeon ahead. This is resolved in the following order:
    1. Delegate a number of your <Staff> to send on the job. Must be at least one.
    2. Designate a room on the current adventure's map to scout. If no information has been gathered yet, this is done at random. If at least one room has already been scouted successfully, you can choose any still unexplored room at will.
    3. The character gathering information must make a Command Check, using either (Wit) or (Adventure), with a Difficulty of [7 + number of rooms explored since the beginning of the mission + number of <Staff> lost on this mission]. On a success, the GM reveals the number of Monsters and Traps in the room, and any connecting Passageways; on a Total Success, the GM also reveals the Monsters' and Traps' names as well, and identifies the Dungeon Boss if it's present. On a failure, you lose [Difficulty - AV] of the gathering <Staff>, but if at least one is still alive, the GM gives you the same information as with a regular success; on a Total Failure, though, you lose all of the gathering <Staff> and learn nothing.
    4. Finally, you must choose to either continue the mission by sending the remaining <Staff> through one of the current room's connecting Passageways and repeating the Command Check, or call them back and end your turn. Naturally, if there are no <Staff> left, there is no choice.
  • If nothing else seems appealing, you can always Take A Stroll and check up on how the citizenry are faring. The events are typically personal and the rewards relatively minor, but Landmakers are such natural adventure magnets that you've still got a small chance of stumbling across a minor national crisis just walking around the neighborhood.


Excelsior!

Departure

With loins girded, all that's left now is the getting there! Get out your local Terra Cognita map, start from the entrance to your Kingdom and chart a course to wherever the action's been scheduled. For every plot you cross along the way, something happens:

  • If the plot is unexplored, roll 2D6 against the Travel Event Table. While results trend towards Bad News, you'll get some low-impact Checks to save against the majority of it.
  • Crossing a previously mapped plot triggers a specific event depending on which of the seven Special Plots is sitting in that square. Of these, only two are at all Good News, and the Bad is a tier worse than anything on the Travel Event Table. On the plus side, though, you'll have the benefit of knowing where they are ahead of time... unless you get the Travel Event that generates one at random, in which case, cross your fingers and try to roll high. :ohdear:
  • Passing through the Domains of other Kingdoms depends on your own Kingdom's standing with them. Allied and Friendly nations will let you pass through freely, Neutral ones will charge you a 1 MG toll, Strained costs 1D6 MG, and Hostile won't let you through at all.

As soon as the Court reaches the spot on the map marked "DUNGEON", the Kingdom Phase ends. Next time: the next phase! Guess what it's called! G'wan, guess!

Bitchtits McGee fucked around with this message at 11:40 on Nov 10, 2013

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


"Gosh, I want to play an anthropomorphic mouse-"

"Okay."

"- that's can shoot eye lasers-"

"Okay."

"- is a cosmonaut-"

"Okay."

"- and is a roided-up steroid super soldier with only six years to live."

"That's amazingly specific, but have we got the game for you!"



This monster does not actually appear in this book.

Rifts® Space Part 1: "If so desired, the Game Master can rule that no character in Mutants In Orbit has any additional mutations or changes, and play it as a straight, hard, science fiction background with ordinary human characters."

Yes, we actually goofed. This book, Mutants in Orbit, came out before Rifts World Book Three: England and Rifts World Book Four: Africa, but it was forgotten in the parade line of Rifts books. So here it is. You won't be disappointed, I hope. That being said, it's about as close to standalone as any Rifts book ever becomes - very, very little after this book will ever reference it again. It's even more of a standalone setting than most of the Dimension Books to follow. Since I'm only reviewing the Rifts Space portions of the book, that's what I'm labelling it as.

Mutants in Orbit is a oddity amongst Rifts material in that it is actually billed firstly as a supplement for the After the Bomb campaign setting for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Other Strangeness. After the Bomb was Palladium's first post-apocalypse setting, released well before Rifts. However, this book has extensive Rifts material adapting it to that setting, and that's what I'll be covering here. I'll only be covering the After the Bomb material as it's adapted to Rifts. Trying to cover the After the Bomb portions would require me to cover Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness and After the Bomb, and that's a tall order.


A Glitter Boy battles a baby. (Baby not pictured.)

But to sum up After the Bomb, it's a setting where radiation has mutated a decent chunk of Earth's animal life into sentient, humanoid animal-people. Somehow it did this in space, too. Though the anthropomorphics are subdued for the Rifts setting, they are still an influence on things. The Rifts setting still has the anthropomorphics, but less of them, making humans dominant instead of furries. Of course, there's the issue that if you want the rules for them, you'd need a copy of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness or Heroes Unlimited, so I won't be dwelling on them too much. This book also has a third game it can be used with: Heroes Unlimited, and it's uncommonly flexible for a Palladium supplement in that it suggests means to change the setting to make it more viable - adding space stations to a superhero world, or just using the giant insects later in the book as a supervillain threat. It also seriously suggests the idea of removing all the mutations and superpowers and trying to use it for hard sci-fi.


300 years in our future and still using designs from 30 years in our past, apparently?

Of course, this flexibility comes from a different author from Siembieda. Though Siembieda does a good chunk of the Rifts text, the After the Bomb material comes from James Wallis, who would later head Hogshead Studio, as well as write storytelling games like Once Upon a Time and The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen. Is it a secret storygamer conspiracy to undermine Palladium Books?* The introduction tells us that we have space colonies up in orbit, as well as pre-Rifts companies like the KSL Corporation (creators of the Glitter Boy) and the Cyberworks Network (creators of ARCHIE-3). And they're jerks!

Next: Your furry astronaut adventure begins here!
* No.

Alien Rope Burn fucked around with this message at 18:25 on Aug 23, 2013

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Please quote the passage about x-ray lasers. It's such... it's peak Kevin.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Bieeardo posted:

Please quote the passage about x-ray lasers. It's such... it's peak Kevin.

If it's the passage I'm thinking of - "You think it's a really stupid idea?" - that's actually Wallis.

That's a long ways ahead, in any case.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

I meant when it came up. But oh god drat it, my bad on both counts. :(

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Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Bieeardo posted:

I meant when it came up. But oh god drat it, my bad on both counts. :(

It doesn't mean much without context, it'll get its time.

(And it is a really stupid idea, as it turns out.)

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