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Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



Amechra posted:

Also, the entire Charisma table is sexy misunderstandings. I'm not even kidding.
Not all of them.

quote:

You doze off while on watch. When you wake up, you notice somebody has covered you with a blanket. Choose a
character at random. Increase your Affection Score towards that character by 1 point.
Someone please run this.

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Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Oh god. Now I'm imagining some strange Golden Sky Stories dungeon crawler.

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine


You crawl into dungeons....to solve dungeon problems. Help the goblins get that pesky rust monster under control, unravel the love septangle in the Myconid outpost, just hang out with the kobolds. GSS as hell.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



The ultimate magical tea party.

Amechra
Sep 9, 2012


Sorry, I forgot that one amidst the accidental kisses and the walking in on you changing.

Someone needs to run this; I've been badgering my local group about it.

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine


Gimme a day or two to go over the rules and see how well I could do it PbP.

U.T. Raptor
May 11, 2010

Are you a pack of imbeciles!?



MinistryofLard posted:

That, and diprotodons and giant wombats are the same thing, and big-rear end flightless birds are still around - they're called emus and cassowaries.
I think they're talking about Genyornis specifically (also "goannas" is probably referring to Megalania, I assume)

Bitchtits McGee
Jul 1, 2011


Amechra posted:

Unless the guy who translated the PDF added those in; I dunno.

I've yet to see any of the anon's (or possibly "anons'", still don't know the details there) translations that have actually been inaccurate, just that the vast majority have a very "first-draft-placeholder" feel about them. Even so, if I'm honest, there are a couple of their's that I actually prefer: Affection and Hostility are much less word-a-day-calendar-tryhard than Sympathy and Antipathy, and even if it did come from the original book text, using Latin for Known World/Unknown Region always struck me as kind of pretentious (but you'd still have to pry Vox Populi out of my cold, dead hands before I give it up ).

Mr. Maltose posted:

Gimme a day or two to go over the rules and see how well I could do it PbP.

Actually, the system seems so well suited to PbP that even with the discovery of an entire chapter missing from the PDF on top of this write-up and Meikyuu Days, I was still planning on putting up a recruitment OP of my own sometime tomorrow, but if you or anyone else here wants to step up and try their hand instead, you ain't gonna hear me raisin' no big squawk about it. I'll even toss you over the two starter scenarios that came folded up with the core books, plus a couple amateur jobs from this fansite I stumbled across for variety.

(P.S. I won't bore you with the details of why, but for efficiency's sake, I've delegated translating as a Home-Only job and get my posts done during the slow moments here at work. Trouble is, those have been so hard to come by lately that it took me three bloody hours just to hammer out the one you just finished reading. So... yeah, unless circumstances force me to announce a total bail-out later, however else it may seem, I am still working on it. (In fact, re-reading that paragraph, I don't think I could run a game of tic-tac-toe right now. One quick revision and Submit Reply!))

Amechra
Sep 9, 2012


Wait, what chapter is missing?

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.

U.T. Raptor posted:

I think they're talking about Genyornis specifically (also "goannas" is probably referring to Megalania, I assume)
I was thinking "moa," which were a kind of 12 feet tall murderbird that was hunted to extinction by the Maoris around six hundred years ago. Genyornis looks pretty similar, but I guess New Zealand's a bit far away for that. Although, then again, maybe the writers didn't know that.

General Ironicus
Aug 21, 2008

Something about this feels kinda hinky


If you enjoyed my Ashen Stars writeup, or the Night's Black Agents one before it got abandoned(?), Both those games and others are part of the latest Bundle of Holding.

DocBubonic
Mar 11, 2003

Tempora mutantur, et nos mutamur in illis

General Ironicus posted:

If you enjoyed my Ashen Stars writeup, or the Night's Black Agents one before it got abandoned(?), Both those games and others are part of the latest Bundle of Holding.

Wow, that's a great deal. Thanks for posting about this.

Bitchtits McGee
Jul 1, 2011


Amechra posted:

Wait, what chapter is missing?

Oh yeah, that might have been a nice little bit of trivia to mention, wouldn't it?

The fourth chapter of the Dungeon Book is thirty some-odd pages of setting lore: a timeline of major events from the Dungeon Hazard to the in-game present, non-human races and where they stand, general details about the three levels of the world and specifics regarding the Great Powers (looking again, the chapter isn't completely missing, the mechanical requirements and benefits of signing on as a Vassal State came from this part). None of it is at all essential to the game, though, it's just cool stuff to give the GM story ideas; the PDF rules are still entirely playable. Didn't mean to cause any panic.

General Ironicus posted:

If you enjoyed my Ashen Stars writeup, or the Night's Black Agents one before it got abandoned(?), Both those games and others are part of the latest Bundle of Holding.

Sweetness, I was really digging Ashen Stars. Thanks for the tip!

Amechra
Sep 9, 2012


It probably would help understand some of the monsters.

occamsnailfile
Nov 4, 2007



zamtrios so lonely

Grimey Drawer

Rifts:™ Dimension Book One: Wormwood Part 17: “Non-Player Heroes”



Today it is time to meet a small selection of GM sockpuppets who can eclipse the PCs and drive the story forward. I mean, assuming your GM is a jerk.


you knew some version of this picture was coming

First is the Confessor, poster-boy of the revolution etc. He is feared by many minions of the Unholy and humans feel that if the demons are afraid, they have even more reason to be. His reputation is not helped by having killed at least two priests he claimed were corrupt. This is as interesting as his multi-paragraph bio gets.

He has the usual unrollable collection of attributes and is 11th level. Mostly he just has all the apok stuff leveled up and some of what I assume are healing worms (worms of mending) and some really dumb weapon choices (3d6 claymore?) but the axe Erin Tarn specifically mentioned him using is not listed. He has 306 native MDC and 25 MDC ‘light armor’ for show. Outside of the great power apoks start with, he isn’t all that exceptional--he just has a rep that the PCs are never going to be able to match.


this is another re-used comic panel. unlike the Confessor, they didn’t seem to like him enough to draw more pictures of him.

Lazarus Vespers is a mysterious enigma wrapped in a riddle etc etc. He appears in battles, making key strikes. He heals people, exorcises demons, fights the Forces of Darkness but doesn’t serve the Church. People aren’t sure how he knows so much and he also let evil queen Salome get away that one time so maybe he’s a double agent. He works behind the scenes a lot generally only associates with ‘small groups of warriors or adventurers’. Guess who you get to meet and be overshadowed by? Also he thinks the Confessor is ‘too intense’ and he reminds Lazarus of Salome, both lost to obsession.

Apparently Lazarus and Salome studied magic at the same college of wizards (wait what, where) and years later they met again at a ‘Splugorth prison’. I thought we had a long section about how Wormwood was double-secret and not e--nevermind. He helped Salome escape and she went evil on him. It also always lists them as ‘friends’ which is perhaps a refreshing change unless it’s meant as UST. Vespers knows how the horrors of the Splugorth changed Salome and wants to save her and she’s never killed him either despite being evil, and someday they’re going to have a confrontation and he’s not sure he can bring himself to kill her. Enjoy watching his story unfold with PCs in the background.

He’s again a super-character with no attribute below 12 (and that’s Speed) and apparently he’s not a Wormwood native which is a surprise not explained in his background. He’s a 10th level ley line walker, and has major psionics. His equipment is fairly sparse aside from a lesser rune weapon and he doesn’t wear armor at all Okay so maybe he’ll just be a bloody spatter the PCs wander past without noticing it on their way to a very puzzled villainess.


i guess he was in the comic, just not named

Last and entirely least is Dorsey Pentecost. He is the youngest Captain in the history of the Hospitallers. He has, also, apparently been busted down to corporal twice and come back up. He’s not bad though, he’s just prone to getting into trouble with all his youthful enthusiasm. He takes stupid risks and ignores orders and sasses his elders. Erin Tarn says he’s like D’artagnan come to life.

Dorsey pretends to be rough trade but really he knows stuff, like all kinda stuff, like about Earth even, especially 20th century slang. Bodacious. He judges people by their actions and not their scary demon masks and he is totally nice and a good guy and this is deeply embarrassing to his noble family of Pentecost. His uncle, mentioned in Erin Tarn’s ramble, is Matthew Pentecost, who might be the next not-pope and Dorsey being a rebel and Hospitaller instead of Templar is quite the problem.

PP of 22, 7th level Hospitaller Knight (do you have to start over at level 1 if you change orders I wonder?), broadsword with whatever a ‘doubling crystal’ is that does 2D8 or 4D4 MD, and two black powder pistols and one shotgun. He also has a TW motorcycle and some crystals, wears light armor because he’s hardcore I guess.

I wouldn’t hate this guy so much if he weren’t dripping with his specialness--I mean a lot of players will create characters exactly as boring and one-note but the book clearly wants to validate this guy in particular. He’s not so powerful statwise that PCs can’t run with him, as levelling in Palladium doesn’t really matter that much compared to the weird equipment he has, but he’s really uninteresting.

And those are our signatures. The Confessor is basically what you’ll get out of any apok character, just ramped up to nearly max level. Vespers has an arc with the villains the PCs can never match but he’ll probably die when an MDC mosquito bites him. Dorsey is a bland addition to make conflict with Matthew Pentecost who isn't even statted.

Next: Wormwood spells.

Arashiofordo3
Nov 5, 2010

Warning, Internet
may prove lethal.


Rifts just confuses me. It's NYC characters just seem to be all over the place and have some really odd creation choices. Like a super special wizard guy who is totally from another world and knows all this cool stuff and has awesome stats and isn't wearing any loving armour so the first monster which looks his way is going to smear him across the walls.

Or the knights of the round table, who are totally supposed to be able to take that bunch of bad guys. Who they can't even hope to scratch. The writers are too busy throwing numbers around to actually think 'does any of this actually work? Can the players actually hope to deal with this?'

At no point does it even seem like the players are even supposed to be able to interact with any of the pre-established stuff without getting ether stomped or overshadowed. It's a total gm playground nod anyone else sitting at that table just has to sit and sigh as the gm once more saves them once more from certain death through his gmpc. I know a lot of gms do that when they're just starting out. But Rifts almost seems to have been designed with this mindset as a feature!

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


From what I've heard Siembieda doesn't give a tinker's drat about the rules or numbers and mostly just plays poo poo by ear. It's deceptive because the statblocks are so meticulous, but intellectually they're meaningless and become so much white noise after a certain point. The Egyptian gods in Rifts Africa are a good example, because they're so loaded down the powers most all end up basically being practically the same in play because there's like a 80% overlap between any two of hem. Who cares if you're facing Set or Anubis? Both can just hack at you with a soul drinker weapon if they want until you fail a save and die.

The impression I get from his play advice - and I could be wrong - is that he rewards people with playing along with whatever the script in his mind is, and punishes or humiliates players if they step out of line. In that equation numbers become meaningless, it's a question of who holds the GM favor and who doesn't. I'm guessing at this because his advice is full of horrible pass-agg stuff where if a player is doing something you don't like, you should stack the deck against them until they "learn".

Drakyn
Dec 26, 2012



Cardiovorax posted:

I was thinking "moa," which were a kind of 12 feet tall murderbird that was hunted to extinction by the Maoris around six hundred years ago. Genyornis looks pretty similar, but I guess New Zealand's a bit far away for that. Although, then again, maybe the writers didn't know that.
Moa were actually herbivorous, although I guess the way they got enthusiastically murdered retains the usefulness of the terminology.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



Alien Rope Burn posted:

From what I've heard Siembieda doesn't give a tinker's drat about the rules or numbers and mostly just plays poo poo by ear. It's deceptive because the statblocks are so meticulous, but intellectually they're meaningless and become so much white noise after a certain point. The Egyptian gods in Rifts Africa are a good example, because they're so loaded down the powers most all end up basically being practically the same in play because there's like a 80% overlap between any two of hem. Who cares if you're facing Set or Anubis? Both can just hack at you with a soul drinker weapon if they want until you fail a save and die.

The impression I get from his play advice - and I could be wrong - is that he rewards people with playing along with whatever the script in his mind is, and punishes or humiliates players if they step out of line. In that equation numbers become meaningless, it's a question of who holds the GM favor and who doesn't. I'm guessing at this because his advice is full of horrible pass-agg stuff where if a player is doing something you don't like, you should stack the deck against them until they "learn".

Just want to remind people here: Kevin does not use the Palladium system when he runs games.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Evil Mastermind posted:

Just want to remind people here: Kevin does not use the Palladium system when he runs games.

I feel like I've brought this up before, so apologies if I have, but you have a source for that? It's a popular rumor, but exactly how he runs games tends to be a bit obscure (especially since he rarely does it anymore), and if there's any more detail, I'd be interested in hearing about it.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



Alien Rope Burn posted:

I feel like I've brought this up before, so apologies if I have, but you have a source for that? It's a popular rumor, but exactly how he runs games tends to be a bit obscure (especially since he rarely does it anymore), and if there's any more detail, I'd be interested in hearing about it.

I honestly don't, but I've heard it from a lot of people.

So it might indeed just be a rumor, but I want it to be true, you know? vv

MadScientistWorking
Jun 23, 2010

"I was going through a time period where I was looking up weird stories involving necrophilia..."


Alien Rope Burn posted:

I feel like I've brought this up before, so apologies if I have, but you have a source for that? It's a popular rumor, but exactly how he runs games tends to be a bit obscure (especially since he rarely does it anymore), and if there's any more detail, I'd be interested in hearing about it.
I'll ask my friend as she actually played in a Palladium Fantasy game he ran recently.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


MadScientistWorking posted:

I'll ask my friend as she actually played in a Palladium Fantasy game he ran recently.

That'd be rad to hear about.

occamsnailfile
Nov 4, 2007



zamtrios so lonely

Grimey Drawer

Alien Rope Burn posted:

That'd be rad to hear about.

It would be. I've heard this too, about him ditching the system as needed, which puzzles me immensely if he's going to C&D houserulers.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


occamsnailfile posted:

It would be. I've heard this too, about him ditching the system as needed, which puzzles me immensely if he's going to C&D houserulers.

I suspect a big part of it is just learning to play in the old AD&D style, where the GM uses what they find useful in a given moment, and throws the rest out, where rulebooks were a la carte and handwaving was required to patch the dozen or so circumstances per session not covered by the rules.

Which is to say, a time before Rules Worked.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012




Chapter 6: Dreaming the Dawn

Remember the ant people from last chapter, here they are

Dreaming the Dawn is the name of the example chronicle that White Wolf included as a good way to get players involved in Australia. But it could probably best be summed up as "Against all odds, a pack of competent Garou are put in a position of power in Australia." But first White Wolf needs to tell us how we're supposed to feel about this.

quote:

Mood and Theme
"Dreaming the Dawn" employs the overall theme of Rage Across Australia, "Strangers in a Strange Land." The characters play a pivotal role in gaining the trust and acceptance of Australia's alienated spirits. Without an alliance between the Garou and Dreamtime spirits, the Wyrm will triumph. A secondary theme is the gaining of independence, as the pack and Australia's Garou come of age. The overall mood of "Dreaming the Dawn" is the guild that pervades Australian Garou. A secondary mood, counterpoised to this, is hope, for the characters are the garou's last chance for redemption.
I think at the point that you're making "Characters that have lived in Australia their entire lives, and are being inducted into a culture that has existed within the nation for at least 100 years" you stop being Strangers, in any land. And yes, we're going to get bucket-loads of White Guilt today, enough to paint a house.


Wait, you mean I can shrink them down so people can't make out the details? Great!

Setting and History
The chronicle starts out in the Wadbilliga Protectorate, which was described earlier. It's a mountainous region with a few alpine plains formed by retreating glaciers. It's been Silver Fang territory ever since their Kinfolk settled the area in 1821. One of the first Garou into the area was a Shadow Lord Mystic named Doctor Lhotsky, which means it's time for some Revisionism. In GOTHIC PUNK AUSTRALIA Lhotsky used members of the Wiradjuri and Krauatungalung tribes to try and get in touch with the Bunyip during his expedition to the Australian Alps in 1834. When he didn't get results, he killed his translators, blaming them for his failure, the Bunyip then hunted him down and killed him in retribution (A PEACE LOVING TRIBE UNACCUSTOMED TO VIOLENCE).

The Silver Fangs moved into Wadbilliga in force during the 1860's gold rush, and after the War of Tears they took over the Bunyip caern that stood atop the 1500-meter Crackenback peak, which overlooks the town of Jindabyne and the artificial lake created by the Snowy river scheme. The Silver Fangs backed the creation of the Scheme, much to the dismay of the rest of the Garou nation, but they didn't really care.

The town of Jindabyne itself sits on the shores of the lake that shares it's name. Its previous location is now underwater, and while the Gravestones from the cemetery were moved to the new location, the bodies themselves were not. Due to it's proximity to many popular ski resorts, it's population can increase by a factor of 20.

The Silver Fang Court of Wadbilliga
AKA "Four assholes you're going to learn to hate and a single decent human being."
Michelle Leaps-beyond-the-Reach-of-the-Wyrm
Michelle is the current Seneschal of King Winchester's court. She's a metis Ragabash and the only offspring of an illicit liaison between her Silver Fang parents. She seems large, hale, and hearty in all of her forms, beyond her brittle claws which are her disfigurement.

She secretly lusts after the throne, because she thinks Darius is hopelessly weak and inbred. Which is an odd point of view for a Metis Silver Fang to have. But she knows that the Fnag will never accept a Metis Queen, which just pisses her off all the more. As Darius' Seneschal, she's responsible for making sure his commands are carried out, so she just makes sure that the ones she doesn't like don't get carried out. She hopes to revitalize the Silver Fang bloodline once(if) she becomes queen, and make sure that Metis are no longer ostracized within her tribe.

Tames-Spirits-with-her-Snarl
A Canadian Lupus Theurge, Tames is the Shaman of the Lodge of the Moon. She was well liked by the spirits in Canada, so when she got to Australia and all the spirits wouldn't give her the time of day, she got pissed. Then she decided to kill a few to make an example. It hasn't really improved matters.

Duke Anthony Pierce
The Steward of the Lodge of the Moon, Anthony is a homid Philodox with a wonderful idea: he wants to wipe out Australia's entire dingo population. Despite being born and raised in Australia, he thinks of himself as English and views everything uniquely Australian with contempt. He considers himself superior to all other garou that aren't Philodoxes, and believes that those who breed with Dingos aren't technically werewolves. He makes sure that 'business' comes up in Riverina or Gippsland whenever Mamu is present in Jindabyne.

M'lady Kathryn Hope
The Steward of the Lodge of the Sun, and another Homid.

quote:

A Philodox, she despises blacks, Asians, and all other foreigners save the English, and makes no attempt to hide her racism. Subconsciously, she fears that the Silver Fangs have been weakened by inbreeding, but manifests this fear as loathing of all other tribes and "lesser races."
I know they're two unrelated points, but the way they worded it it sounds like they're saying "Naturally, as a philodox, she's a giant racist."

She deeply distrust the Uktenna for breeding with Aboriginals, and believes that Tjinderi lusts after the leadership of the Council (she's right, but that doesn't make her not racist), and allies herself with Carla leader of the Get. She can't understand why Carla keeps getting rebuffed, I mean, obviously the rest of the council should realize that they need to kill all the brown skinned people.

Nick Meads
"Stubbornly referred to as Nicholas by the other Silver Fangs at court" Nick is a homid Galliard and the Squire of the Lodge of the Sun. He's also the Garou in charge of the sept's defense. He's an able warrior, thrill seeker, and risk taker. He loves dangerous sports like bungie-jumping and hang-gliding, using his Garou abilities to survive what should normally kill him. He loves Wadbilliga, and spends most of his time skiing or white-water canoeing in the protectorate. He thinks the rest of the tribe are boring and arrogant and will sometimes tease Darius and the rest of his court to the point of frenzy before fleeing into the Umbra. He'd be an all around decent guy, were he not secretly lusting after Tjinderi Knowing-Smile, vowing to protect her from(read: kill) Mamu if he ever openly attacks her.

Others


Gangrel can't do this? What?
Diana Wentworth
Diana is a 12th Generation Gangrel Vampire that grew up in the late 1800s. During a family trip to the Blue Mountains, she met a vampire and was embraced. "Free of the restrictions of Victorian society" she disdains clothes as a mortal affectation. And spends most of her time naked or in wolf form.

It was in wolf form that she met Darius Winchester, the Silver Fang king, who thought she was a werewolf. She didn't correct him until he was too in love with her to care. If anyone were to find out about them, Darius would probably be forced to abdicate. For her part she's agreed to not feed upon any Silver Fang kinfolk, or embrace anyone inside Wadbilliga. But she's still 'willful', and is entertaining the prospect of embracing Darius just to find out what would happen.

Snarls-at-Shadows
A shadow Lord Lupus Ahroun that was Exiled from Tasmania by Vlad for arguing with him over the beauty of the Australian wilderness. Vlad Volaschky hates the Australian wilderness except for those pieces which remind him of Europe. She fled to the mainland and now hides in the Snowy Mountains with a misfit pack of her own creation. She's taken it upon herself to keep the high country free of 'apes' and their depredations of the wilderness in the name of progress and recreation. They harry ski resorts, and destroy construction equipment. So far their attacks have been attributed to ecoterrorists.

Recently they've become aware that the spirit of the Snowy River is still alive, bound by webs though it may be. They that by keeping the Snowy Mountain free of humans, they might win its favor as a totem. With its power she hopes to take Vlad's place on the council.

The Jindabyne Council
The council members are described again, there's a little more information given but it can mostly be summed up as: Fingal opposes every motion that even smells like something Darius would like; Darius wants Cernonnous to replace Innana and thinks Grek Twice Tounge was sent by the spirits to see him into glory; Carla, Mamu, and Vlad are hilariously racist; Mother Pasta wants to eat Monash; Don Mephisto is playing everyone for his own benefit; Tjinderi wants everyone to give her their protectorates out of the goodness of their hearts.

The compact of the council forbids violence while a meeting is in session, and to date no member has died while a meeting is in session. Each representative vows to enforce the council's decisions within their own protectorates, but their own viewpoints make it somewhat difficult to come to decisions, to say nothing of enforcing them.

The Ngalyod Pack

Named in honor of the bunyip's totem spirit, this is sort of the Australian equivilent of the silver pack. Traditionally they operate as the Jindabyne council's arm in getting things done. Traditionally members serve for 10 years, after that a new pack is formed. Replacements are chosen by a special meeting of the Council. Appointments to the pack are sometimes made for more political reasons than because of their skill or renown which weakens the overall structure of the pack.

The initiation takes place in a complex ritual on Cub island in the middle of Lake Jindabyne. The new members must swim a kilometer through the water to the island, which I should remind you is in the middle of the Australian Alps. There the council members await them, seated around a ceremonial fire. The whole ritual resembles an aboriginal initiation rite.

quote:

Beginning with the extinguishing of the fire. Next, the ritemaster daubs the pack members with blood and ochre, and cuts them with a shard of bone. Charcoal is rubbed into the wounds to ensure that they heal as raised scars. The ritemaster then uses a large stone to knock out a front tooth of each pack member this symbolizes their coming of age as a pack, and the loss to Gaia of the Bunyip. It is considered unseemly to show any pain during any part of the initiation.

Next, the story of the War of Tears is retold, with the new Ngalyod pack taking the part of the wronged Bunyip. At the end of the initiation the bonfire is rekindled, and each pack member is given a brand to carry, as all present dance wildly about the island, howling Ngalyod's name to the stars.
So a healthy dose of White Guilt and native exceptionalism, glorious.

There are also a few different fetishes that the Ngalyod pack gets
  • The Shield of Kurburu: A bark shield that makes it's holder seem more impressive and threatening, giving him 2 more points of Expression, Intimidation, and Leadership
  • Bulun-Bulun's Spear:A spear that deals aggrivated damage and forces materialized spirits to dematerialize.
  • Narran-Ngemba Sticks:Two sticks that when tapped together rhythmically will drown out all other sounds. Which might be useful somehow?
  • Djarada's Heart A small lump of fossilized sap that increases its holders Empathy and Appearance by 2. It makes the user irresistible to all, regardless of their age or sexual orientation. Oh and it can heal aggravated damage if you pass it over a wound and spend a point of gnosis but this is basically a date-rape rock.
  • A Nameless Stone:A Flat fist sized stone of unknown rock, the smooth face is carved with a representation of the Rainbow Serpent. No one knows what it is or what it does, but tradition demands that the pack carry it with it at all times. The plot trinket.

That said, it's time to get into our nine part adventure.

Introduction: The Visions of Grek Twice-Tongue
It's come time to select a new Ngalyod pack. The last pack, which was made up entirely of Ahroun, saw it's role as a military one. So it spent all it's time fighting Pentex and Black Spirals, and ignoring the needs of the spirits because for some reason someoen thought it would be a good idea to make a pack entirely out of Ahroun. Unsurprisingly the council has had difficulty coming to a conclusion over who should be the new pack, but last night Grek had a vision. A new pack formed of young garou, untested by even their rite of passage, THE PLAYER CHARACTERS! The rest of the council agree if only to stop the arguing.

Part 1: Spirits of Vengeance
The player characters are summoned by the leaders of their respective septs and told that they are to present themselves to the Jindabyne council, no explanation is offered or given. When they arrive at Crackenback, Grek says they have some great destiny but can't be more specific. But before they're invested with the powers of the Ngalyod pack, they must first undergo their rite of passage.

This seems like a good time to point out that this probably means that the player characters are probably somewhere around the age of 15.

Darius sends them to the town of Thorpdale in eastern Victoria. The spirits there are angry and any garou that enter it are being harrassed. Their rite of passage is to go there, find out what disturbed the spirits and fix it. The Aboriginals of the area, the Kurnai tribe, were massacred early in the area's history, leaving only a few survivors. The last of these, Alice Price, was murdered by her husband, Doug, the owner of the town's only hotel.

quote:

Doug Price, a white Australian, is a surly Alcoholic. He killed Alice in a drunken rage. Her body is buried in the hotel's basement. Price has told the regulars who drink in the bar that Alice has 'gone walkabout'. He acts the role of the betrayed husband, claiming he took Alice in and treated her with love, when in reality she was no more to him than a slave and a body on which to slake his lust.
I'm beginning to think I should have started a Rape counter when I started reviewing the book.

The spirits of Thorpdale really liked Alice, and after she did they started screaming and howling in the Dreamtime, waking up the slumbering spirits of the Kurnai. The player characters succeed by finding Alice's corpse and interring her in the traditional way of her people, and killing Doug Price in revenge. Unfortunately there are two people who will oppose them in this.

Sir Rodney Snipe is an insane Silver Fang who lives north of Thorpdale, who thinks he's still living with his mother who has been dead for decades. He drives his Rolls-Royce into town to drink at Price's bar which is likely where the PCs meet him. Once he finds out that they're Garou, he invites them up to his estate where he shows them his large collection of guns and trophies, and tells them tales of when his Garou ancestors settled the area, slaughtering all the uppity Aboriginals and binding the most rebellious spirits in a Spirit Drum, which he uses as an ottoman. If a PC uses spirit speech they can hear the spirits screaming but can't understand them, if they break the drum they're grateful and lead the pack to the Dreamtime grove of gum trees where the spirits of the Kurnai lie upon their corpse platforms. The ghosts still bear the scars of their violent deaths.

The Aboriginal Dreamspeaker Murulami is the other impediment, and he's sworn an oath to destroy the Garou. Because. He uses his magic to make the spirits distrust the Garou more, and hopes to create open war between the spirits and Garou. He's gotten a few spirits convinced to attack the PCs when they enter Thorpdale. His ultimate goal is to confront Sir Rodney with the ghosts of the Aboriginals, drive him into a frenzy, and have him kill a few white folk in the process while breaking the veil before his eventual death.

Part 2: The Weeping Sun
Once they return to Jindabyne, they go through the initiation ritual, and are given what fetishes were not lost when the pack made entirely of Ahrouns went off and got themselves killed. When a player touches the Nameless Stone, they have a vision of a Thylacine fleeing a Black Wolf into a cave full of Aboriginal Art. Fingal Flashing-Claws tells them that they should go visit Bartholomew Wise-in-the-Ways-of-the-Wyrm who might be able to help them.

When they arrive at Bart's house in the Blue Mountains, a Solar Eclipse happens. Bart agrees to help them if they help him "Rescue the Sun". He leads them to the fossil-rich Jenolan Caves in the Blue Mountains where Gnowee the Sun has been trapped by the Black Spirals. They led her here by saying her son was in the caves, but actually hope to use her to wake a wyrm beast the Bunyip sealed here centuries ago. And, you know, let him eat the loving sun. If the player characters can convince Gnowee that the BSDs lied to her, she burns them all to ashes, but still needs the players to guide her out of the cave, at which point the eclipse ends and Bart offers to help them.


What is going on here?
Part 3: A Tiger by the Tail

At some point later Bartholomew contacts the pack and tells them that the vision has something to do with the Tasmanian rainforests near the Franklin River. After Grek hears this he commands them to travel to Tasmania and investigate. Vlad becomes enraged and says that visitors are not welcome on 'his island'. He threatens the PCs but backs down when the rest of the council allies against him. Vlad stalks away muttering 'dark threats'.

In Tasmania they find little actual help. Younger members of the tribe will try to bait them into attacking, and the elders will only act to stop the Younger ones from getting killed. When they search the rainforest they find an abandoned training camp, littered with spent cartridges. The ground is tamped down by many boots of various shapes and sizes. Silver bullets are embedded in all the nearby trunks. The Shadow Lords deny all knowledge if questioned.

The pack also finds rocks painted with symbols leading them to Murulami, chanting in a clearing. He hates the Garou and threatens them, but runs away rather than engaging them in a straight fight. Near Murulami's clearing they find a cave decorated with the pictures from their visions. It is a lost bunyip caern, Murulami's notes indicate that the caern will not be reactivated until the skull of it's last guardian is replaced. Murulami himself was trying to reawaken it to gain the favor of its totem.

When they return to the Cradle Mountain sept in Tasmania, they're 'greeted' by Vlad Volaschky. He rants and raves about how he would kill the players as trespassers were they not here on council business. He allows them to stay for now, but assigns Fyodor "a slow-witted by burly young Ahroun" to watch over them. From Fyodor they learn that the skull is being kept in a caern at the peak of Cradle Mountain. They have to distract him long enough to sneak into the caern and steal back the skull. When they bring it back to the cave, the Caern reawakens and Bookbook the Owl, totem of the caern, appears and offers to be their pack totem in gratitude. Her parting words are that most spirits still distrust them, and that only the fact that they bear the Rainbow Serpent's seal may save them.

Back in Jindabyne, the Council debates on who will administer the new Caern. They eventually decide (perhaps after some prompting from the PCs) that the Council themselves will administer the caern. Vlad, of course, is pissed off because it's his caern, and the pack now has his undying enmity.


What is up with the random geometric shapes?
Part 4: Lightning Dreaming

After this, the Council sends the Pack to the Arnhem Land protectorate. Wungala Rose isn't available to greet them, instead they're met by Climonestra, a lupus Theurge. The pack are welcomed warmly but told only female members will be allowed to the center of the Caern. Climonestra tells them that they're trying to awaken the Namarrkon Caern, and that the Guardian Spirit will not speak to Black Furies. She asks them to intervene on their behalf, and surprisingly, Climonestra is actually pleasant, helpful, and doesn't have an ulterior motive.

The totem remains silent until a fierce tropical storm breaks out over the Caern, during the Tempest Namarrkon manifests but only speaks to the male members of the Pack. He agrees to reopen his caern on the provision that the characters help him destroy the Ranger Uranium Mine. When they tell the rest of the Black Furies this they're thrown into turmoil. The older members of the sept remember their pledge against violence, arguing instead that peaceful protest and petition will bring about change. The younger furies, lead by Climonestra, argue for action. Eventually the peaceful furies win out, Climonestra frenzies and runs off to the mine alone. The Priests of pollution kill and dismember her, and her cadaver is dropped out on the outskirts of the Caern by a Ranger truck. This drives even the peaceful members of the sept into a frenzy and they all charge the mine. Well at least the good guys aren't the only ones who make terminally stupid decisions.

Potential allies in the fight include the local dingo population (which a lupus might be able to drive into action). And one of Black Furies bitterly suggests that they should ask the Gumagan(crocodile/dinosaur shapeshifters) if they can find them. But if the PCs look for them, all they find are Aboriginals who say they've heard of the Gumagan but believe they're all dead. Namarrkon will aid the Garou, sending a supernatural storm to pound the open mine. The battle is fierce, many Black Furies will die. The Pack must personally battle Darren, who will scream "This is just a skirmish, the real battle is yet to come - the sleeper will fall to the Wyrm" when he dies. The battle ends with Father Moonscreamer being eaten by a massive crocodile.


Finally some strangely relevant art.
Part 5: The Ghost Who Howls

As they prepare to leave Arnhem Land, a message from the council arrives for them. The Sept of the Waking Dream has been attacked. Several members are dead, another is hopelessly insane. Younger members of the sept, a pack lead by a lupus named Biting Fang, have been attempting to awaken the Rainbow Serpent, guided by the spirits of the Mulga Seed people. Of course, since the Mulga-Seed people hate the garou, the rite they taught them is the one that they used to summon Kurpannga the Devil Dingo. Now Kurpannga's roaming the sept and killing all the Garou he can find.

Runs-With-Ghosts is the leader of the Katajuta protectorate, and is one of the few Uktena who actually welcomes outsiders. Bathes-in-Blood(No, really), the Gatekeeper and a close friend of Biting Fang, is actively hostile towards the pack. And they need to gain her trust to learn the truth of what happened. Fortunately, Bathes despises Shadow Lords, if there's a Lord in the pack it might cause problems, but if they tell her about their adventures in Tasmania it will go a long way towards impressing her. She also believes in the sanctity of Caern and Sept, anyone who believes similarly will also gain her trust. As a last resort she'll trust anyone who can best her in a fight. She'll tell them of Biting Fang's hope of awakening Ngalyod, though she doesn't know where he gained the knowledge to actually pull it off.

The last surviving member of the pack is a lupus Ragabash named Wanambi. She's completely mad and can no longer shift out of her dingo form. The sight of her own reflection or any other dingos will drive her into a terrified frenzy. If they try to force her to talk she'll run away, in any case she'll run away the next night and her half-eaten corpse will be found the next morning by the last sept guardian, her body surrounded by huge dingo tracks.

In the dreamtime, the cave where Biting Fang was slain is inhabited by the Mulga-Seed people. They're bitter and angry, because their land was taken from them. If the characters promise that the caves won't be used by any other tribes, particularly their hated foes the Mala, they may tell the PCs about Kurpannga. If they're angered they'll call Kurpannga to attack them, only the plot trinket stone will make The Devil Dingo back down. If they negotiate with the Mulga and Runs-with-Ghosts, promising that the caves will remain free of Garou and tourists, they'll call Kurpannga and perform the ritual to dismiss it.

Of course while they're celebrating, Runs-with-Ghosts will come to them angrily and claim that Kurpannga has slain again. Bathes-in-Blood is set to march upon the cave and force retribution, as Kwik-Kwik the Keeper of the Land has been slain, and his body was dumped in the Glade of Ancestors in the center of the Caern. Runs-with-Ghosts begs them to enter the dreamtime and confront Kurpannga. When the return to the cave they don't find Kurpannga, instead finding a Ghost Bunyip in thylacine form, blood dripping from its jaws. It leers at them and whispers "Watch for the Rainbow" and then dissapears. When they return to tell Runs-with-Ghosts what happens, she tells them that one of the Devil's Marbles, which are rumored to be the eggs of the Rainbow Serpent, is missing from its resting place. The Uktena are furious and send the Pack away with no thanks. If they investigate the site of the Marble, they find Garou sized pawprints and wyrm taint lingering. Tire marks lead south.


Did I mention that the art in this chapter has little to do with the text?
Part 6: Shadows on the Mountain

When the pack return to Wadbilliga, Don Mephisto summons them to a special meeting of the council. No'iri'n Ni'Dhonaill has challenged Fingal Flashing-Claws for his seat on the council. The rest of the members sit in silence as the short but bloody fight carries itself out. Mephisto accepts No'iri'n as the new member of the Council but admonishes her for spilling blood at Crackenback.

Then out of nowhere Grek breaks into a howling rage, screaming that the Council are nothing but posturing fools who would rather bicker than fight the Wyrm. If no one else will save Wadbilliga and the Snowy River, he will. Then he limps down the mountain, Darius orders the pack to follow and protect him. Grek leads them into the heart of Snarls-at-Shadows territory. They rise out of the snow to surround Grek and the pack, snarling that they don't recognize the authority of Jindabyne. Grek tells her that he's a Council member and he demands that she let them pass. A challenge ensues, with one of the pack members standing in for Grek. If the characters are victorious, Katya will listen to Grek's story.

Grek recently returned from a trip to the Snowy River tunnels, which are currently infested with Black Spirals. They're killing the spirit of the Snowy river, already weakened by turbines and irrigation systems. The Black Spirals have dammed the dreamtime reflection of the Snowy River and are polluting it with their own 'foul effluents'. Katya apologizes profusely to Grek and dedicates herself to Grek's service. Once they reach the spiral dam, they're outnumbered two to one. During the fighting, one of the pack members is supposed to notice one of the rocks in the dam shudder at the noise. It's actually a nargun and if they can awaken it it starts fighting the Spirals. Of course without the stone, the whole dam collapses, the Snowy River breaks through, and suddenly awakened and very angry, it rushes forward. The spirals are all caught in the wash and the PCs have to flee to avoid being drowned. Once they get topside again they find that the Snowy River has broken it's banks and the Murray 2 dam, flooding the upper stretch of the Murray. And if this map is any indication, that's quite a bit of land that's flooded. Indeed the book says that many many humans are now dead and countless farms are now submerged beneath the rivers waters.

Our heroes, ladies and gentlemen.


This is so horrible it wraps back around to hilarious again.
Part 7: Hope in Delirium

When they return to the Council, they're shaken by the events. And demand the pack manifest their totem and summon their spirit allies so that all the council can benefit from the packs success. After this scrutiny, the pack is asked to handle a simple matter while they decide what to do. Publicly, they're asked to go to Brisbane to find Rage-in-the-Streets and bring him to the council. Privately, Mamu asks them to kill him because he has dishonored the tribe and should die with honor. Innana asks them to bring him to Nimbin so that he can be healed and purified before returning to Jindabyne.

In Brisbane the pack likely has trouble finding him, since they're probably looking among the wild dog packs and in parks and gardens. When they look in the nightclubs they'll eventually discover "Martin Rage", the clubbers and druggies will direct them to him as a dealer of some high end drugs with a foul temper. Of late he's been dealing in "Space", a powerful hallucinogen that's stronger than LSD that allows its users to "See their lives from orbit". If they use Sense Wyrm on a Space user, they'll find minute but definite traces. Persistent inquiries will inform them that heavy Space use drives it's users into a violent self-destructive frenzy.

They won't initially find Rage-in-the-Streets, but they will find a small pack led by Felicia Quest-for-the-Moon, a Homid Philodox CoG. She knows all about Space, which 'creates a bridge' to the Wyrm, and gradually pollutes the user driving them to depraved acts. She believes it's produced by Pentex but lacks proof, believing that the Sabbat might know more. She also asks them to go to Eungella once they're done in Brisbane, as the Stargazers need their help.

If they just roam the nightclubs asking for Space they'll eventually attract the attention of both the Police and the Sabbat.

quote:

These anarchic young vampires will present themselves before the characters peacefully, but threateningly. They are not looking for a fight, but will throw their full strength against the Garou if need be. Leather-clad, pierced and tattooed, the Sabbat are every parent's nightmare taken to an extreme. They are led by Skin-Job, who delights in wearing human faces as masks.
Have I mentioned that early 90's Sabbat lacked in subtlety? They speak of Rage fondly, like a friend, and if the Pack is peaceable, they'll agree to take them to visit their archbishop, Camille of Clan Lasombra. Apparently Camille made a deal with Jeffery Blight. Pentex would manufacture Space, and Sabbat would distribute it in return for Pentex's aid in ousting Perth's Camarilla. Pentex went back on their word, and she wants revenge. She tells them that Rage-in-the-Streets is in Pentex's Gold Coast headquarters, where Space is manufactured. She also tells them that the Black Spirals are probably up to something. "Ordinarily she dismisses the Spiral Dancers as harmless religious lunatics, but this time, she says, whatever they're planning is about to hatch."

In the real world, the Gold Coast headquarters is a moderately tall office building of glass and steel. In the dreamtime it's a tower of sinew and bone, oozing pus onto the landscape. It's guarded by a First Team and a human security force. If they break through them, they find Rage heavily drugged and unable to move. They destroy the Space, and either kill or escape with Rage. Depending on what they do they make some council members happy and other very angry. Then Felicia escorts them to the Web of the Dreaming Hands Caern, where they hope to learn more of the Spiral Plot.

Part 8: The Edge of Despair

Monash End-to-the-Darkness greets them at the Caern, he's grateful for their arrival as his tribe is full of despair. When they tell him what the Sabbat told them, he offers to let them sleep in the Web of Dreaming Hands during the next new moon, which conveniently is in 3 days. In the meantime he asks them to help raise his tribe's spirits. When he's done talking, a gunshot rings out. Cherri Backwards-glance has just blown her head off with a shotgun. Indira Songs-of-Sorrow begins wailing and Chisolm There-is-no-Hope runs out of the camp screaming that he'll be dead by dawn.

To save the Stargazers, they need to use the rapport they've gained with Australia's spirits to contact Fog, the spirit of the Caern, and convince him of the hopeless state of the tribe. They need to show him that the Stargazers mean him no harm and that it's okay to speak to them again. Fog will return some purpose to the Stargazers by giving them a new task, protect nearby Hinchinbrook Island from tourist development. When they finally sleep in the webs, they're taken into a shared vision.

They see a stone falling from a black hand towards a still lake, where it shatters rather than splashing, then that hand squeezes a river, making it bleed red onto another rock, that bursts open to reveal a black worm. and a rainbow arching over Kosciusko that turns black as it reaches it's zenith, raining black foulness on the alpine plains, and then a white wolf slain by a thrown dagger, and the snow gums that ring Crackenback Caern wilting and dying before a southern gale.

If somehow they aren't able to figure out "Go back to Crackenback, stupid." Indira can point them in the right direction, saying it's a "cry from Gaia, arising from a spiral plot".

I should also point out that, if the PCs didn't parlay with the Sabbat (which is an incredibly stupid idea anyway), they would have no idea to ask about the Black Spirals. So there's got to be more railroading going on.


"A wolf eating its own tail is an Oroboros right?"
Part 9: The Awakening

When they return to Jindabyne, they find the council much as they left them, sans Vlad. They're working together better than ever, now that Fingal is gone and not being obstructionist, even Mamu is agreeing with some of the plans formed by Darius, No'iri'n, and Mephisto. Multi-tribal strikes upon Wyrm infestations in the Dreamtime are going to happen, and the pack is going to serve a role in further plans. They will negotiate peace, then communication and understanding with the spirits of the Dreamtime and the Garou. The council swears to give the pack whatever assistance they can provide. They're slightly less happy to hear about the Black Spirals, but agree that they can't stand before their new spirit of cooperation.

Adding to the happy spirit is the fact that Joseph Blows-with-the-Wind has asked to be given a seat on the council. He's probably going to have his wish because Vlad isn't there. He's sent a message indicating that "Kinfolk business in Europe has called him away. He indicates that he will attend when this has been cleared up, whereupon he will address the Jindabyne Council concerning radical changes to Council Operations."

Those radical changes are him raiding Crackenback with a commando team of Shadow Lords armed with Klaives, and Kinfolk armed with AK-47s with silver bullets. Led by Vlad Volashky. The ensuing fight is bloody with neither side able to gain an advantage. At the height of the fighting, Boobook bursts out of the umbra and screams that they need to follow her to the Umbra, because the Rainbow Serpent is in danger. Fog, Kanau the wedge-tailed eagle, and any other spirits the pack has befriended. The assembled Garou stop fighting, and fall to their knees in awe. If the characters seize the initiative and call upon the Shadow Lords to join them, all but Vlad do so. If they don't and leave with Boobook, Vlad will take the caern once they leave. If they're torn between staying and leaving, a terrible scream rings out which is so loud and terrible that everyone drops to their knees screaming in agony. A rainbow arcs over the caern and Mephisto begs the pack to guide them.

In the Dreamtime, Boobook transports the pack to the upper slopes of Mount Kosciuko. Anyone who's traveled to the cave where the last Bunyip died will recognize the site. Below them is a small lake, it's waters are boiling and hissing as a horde of Black Spiral dancers are howling and cutting themselves, bleeding into the lake. The waters turn black with their blood, and in the center a huge round boulder (the missing devil's marble) protrudes from the surface, a rainbow arcing from a crack in the rock.

The good news, Nagalyod is alive again, the bad news is he's corrupted by the spirals, blackness erupts from the egg and consumes the serpent. The Ghosts of the Bunyip ring the lake, watching impassively. The pack also recognize Murulami. He gestures wildly, running up to the Garou and tells them that while he still hates them, he doesn't want Ngalyod to be corrupted, and will help if he can. He tells them that the nameless stone fetish they hold is actually one of Ngalyod's scales, and if they can attach it to the great snake he will be purified. The pack must fight their way to Ngalyod and affix the scale, at which point he slaughters all the remaining spirals.


The Wrap Up
The book offers a few ways to end this. If they don't save Ngalyod, then well, Australia's hosed. The Dreamtime will be completely corrupted and the real world will follow suit. A purified Ngalyod might swallow up all the Black Spirals and vomit out White Howlers. If Ngalyod is wounded his blood might fall on the Bunyip spirits causing them to be reborn in flesh. He might be angry and rage across the physical world, destroying the European settlements. They might gain Ngalyod as a true totem.

Also, the reason why Vlad attacked? Well, see, some of the members of the Jindabyne council die, and the pack members get asked to fill the vacant seats! At rank 1!

This ending makes no god damned sense. There is no way a Shadow Lord would do this, ever. Even if they succeeded, the rest of the Tribe would probably kill him for shaming himself, and the tribe as a whole. And the tribe would probably have to pay severe reparations as a result. Even then, the attack has no payoff, there's no comeuppance for Vlad, the attack holds no weight because it just.. stops, when the plot rears it's ugly head again.

There's also the fact that the story basically consists of the pack going around from Tribe to Tribe either telling them to stop being idiots or exposing them for the duplicitous assholes that they are. Even No'iri'n just kind of shows up and removes an obstacle to change for them. It's like Australia has just kind of stayed locked in place for the past 100 years just waiting for the PCs to show up and fix everything in the course of a few months.

Thankfully however, that's all. Book's done.

At least it ends on a really dumb note.

Payndz
Sep 22, 2006

I'm Peter Graves, and I was wondering if you could direct me to the natatorium, as I'm attending a Scuderia Ferrari team-building exercise. Thank you. I'm Peter Graves.


Alien Rope Burn posted:

It's funny because I just saw the other day that Flint Henry had worked on the last Judge Dredd event... and it turns out that after Wormwood, Flint Henry went on to do work for 2000 A.D., where he has worked near-exclusively since (most notably on Judge Dredd). Of course, most of the art there in that post is Roger Petersen (miscredited as "Roger Peterson") who would go on to draw things like Predator and Swamp Thing comix.
Flint Henry and Henry Flint are two different artists.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

quote:

Sir Rodney Snipe is an insane Silver Fang who lives north of Thorpdale, who thinks he's still living with his mother who has been dead for decades. He drives his Rolls-Royce into town to drink at Price's bar which is likely where the PCs meet him. Once he finds out that they're Garou, he invites them up to his estate where he shows them his large collection of guns and trophies, and tells them tales of when his Garou ancestors settled the area, slaughtering all the uppity Aboriginals and binding the most rebellious spirits in a Spirit Drum, which he uses as an ottoman.

Yeah, yeah. I know W:tA wasn't exactly Furry: the Subtlety, but ye gods. Is this guy supposed to be the Spirit of Empire in disguise, or something?

"Pip pip, tally ho! They were a right nasty bunch of brutes, swarm of gnats so thick you couldn't see Luna shining down in the Umbra, but we took one of the savages' drums and shoved them all right inside, tight as a... well, tight as a drumhead. And from then on, we've kept an eye on it." The drum strikes a dull note as he digs his heel into its ancient surface. "Can't trust the coloured not to get into mischief the moment your back is turned."

quote:

It was in wolf form that she met Darius Winchester, the Silver Fang king, who thought she was a werewolf. She didn't correct him until he was too in love with her to care. If anyone were to find out about them, Darius would probably be forced to abdicate.

That's probably putting things mildly. Oh, pardon me. 'Forced to abdicate' with no relation between that sorry state of affairs and his body being found torn to pieces a week later.

quote:

These anarchic young vampires will present themselves before the characters peacefully, but threateningly. They are not looking for a fight

My god. Everything really is upside-down in Australia!

ShinyBirdTeeth
Nov 7, 2011

sparkle sparkle sparkle

Payndz posted:

Flint Henry and Henry Flint are two different artists.

And which one of them is in?

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Payndz posted:

Flint Henry and Henry Flint are two different artists.

Ugh, curse your facts.

So Henry Flint is the one that's worked on Judge Dredd very much, and Flint Henry is the one that's worked on Judge Dredd very little.

Glad we got that sorted out.

Adnachiel
Oct 21, 2012


Robindaybird posted:

Suing the High Emperor of Copyright Protection? Good loving luck with that Harris.

The Channel M people, from what I recall, have a massive bug up their asses about W.I.T.C.H. "stealing" their concept. I remember reading something about how the Original Witch Girls book's title is a direct jab at W.I.T.C.H. because Witch Girls obviously came first.

For those of you who aren't familiar with it: Here is the Wiki article for W.I.T.C.H. You don't even need to read the whole thing, just the top paragraphs will tell you that Harris and Co are either loving idiots who don't know how ideas and copyright law work or are just doing it to get attention... or both.

Also, thanks for covering the rest of the books, FourmyleCircus. The core burnt me out. Though I'd still like to do a writeup of the revamped core... assuming it ever actually comes out.

(Also, just mark my Demon writeup as abandoned, Syrg. Real life caught up with me.)

Adnachiel fucked around with this message at 00:50 on Sep 23, 2013

secretly best girl
Mar 27, 2007

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

Adnachiel posted:

(Also, just mark my Demon writeup as abandoned, Syrg. Real life caught up with me.)

Totally fair, I just did this for the WoT RPG the other day on my own end because aside from one chapter the rest was all more worldbuilding stuff and I'd overgushed about that to start.

MadScientistWorking
Jun 23, 2010

"I was going through a time period where I was looking up weird stories involving necrophilia..."


Alien Rope Burn posted:

That'd be rad to hear about.
Yeah I asked my friend about it and she did actually say he heavily ignored the rules and went we a more free form style. She actually said he isn't actually a bad DM. Its just that he doesn't actually follow the rules he wrote. He also ran it with a far lager group than is pushing it for any experienced DM (8).

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


From what I understand that's actually something of a small group for him. From everything else I've heard he's used to running games with player counts in the double-digits.

FourmyleCircus
Sep 15, 2013


Not a problem Adnachiel. I kinda started with the least objectionable of them. Although, The Adventure might be Okay.... I doubt it.

13 Magazine has actual content, so it's... well.. It's about as troublesome as the core. I assume it'd be okay to cover the adventure, if it comes to that. After all, it's kinda a combination adventure and setting book, from the brief skim I gave before getting entirely creeped out by the icon they use for the contacts.

And to continue that little tangent about Channel M, they've recently been going ape over the show Sofia the First, which is about a low born princess and her witch friend Lucinda. Lucinda starts off a fearsome, mean little poo poo who hexes everyone she comes across just because. Naturally, Channel M claims that they stole Lucinda from them. Totally ignoring that Lucinda is a pretty classic Witch name and Disney's Lucinda had actual character growth and becomes friends people who aren't as bad as she is and, most importantly, stops hexing people because it amuses her.

On an unrelated note, I know a guy who used to roleplay with Lucinda/Abby when City of Heroes was still up. He hated her, but she loved pestering him. He explained a fair bit about how they guys at Channel M saw roleplaying. Apparently, a good deal of the messed up vibe of this comes from the fact that they don't see things like internal consistency and consequences as part of having fun. They also assume that all characters are self inserts at best. If you decide to get angry, it's because you think a fight scene would be cool right then.

Kinda weird, but understandable. Doesn't excuse this train-wreck.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

FourmyleCircus posted:

They also assume that all characters are self inserts at best.

Considering some of the characters in WGA that really doesn't say a whole lot that's flattering about the Channel M folks.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


FourmyleCircus posted:

They also assume that all characters are self inserts at best.

I don't want to know what they are at worst.

It's funny, because the way I found out about WGA was through tvtropes wayyy back, through I think it was their "Villain Sue" page citing Lucinda. (That entry got pulled, seemingly, so somebody raised a fuss over it even before tvtropes opted to remove all "Sue" examples.) I followed a link out of morbid curiosity, which pointed to a gallery by one of the WGA artists that features Lucinda tormenting or murdering all sorts of people and pop culture icons, particularly comic book heroes. It's amusing that they've raised such a bizarre fuss about copyrights when they're posting up pictures of Lucinda murdering Harry Potter characters, Galactus, etc.

MadScientistWorking
Jun 23, 2010

"I was going through a time period where I was looking up weird stories involving necrophilia..."


Alien Rope Burn posted:

From what I understand that's actually something of a small group for him. From everything else I've heard he's used to running games with player counts in the double-digits.
Yeah I would have asked her more questions as she and her boyfriend were at the Palladium Open House event but she was preoccupied with something more important than me asking about how Kevin Siembieda DMs.

occamsnailfile
Nov 4, 2007



zamtrios so lonely

Grimey Drawer

Rifts:™ Dimension Book One: Wormwood Part 18: “Communion with Wormwood”



So here we get to the Wormwood spells. Obviously these spells work only on and with Wormwood the planet, so people relying on them should never leave it. Priests have the largest access to these in theory though they start with fewer. They just get greater choice over time apparently. Monks, apoks and wormspeakers get fairly set lists and dark priests apparently have limited access more on par with the wormspeaker.

Also, the theme of ‘Communion’ here seems like it could be more powerful that it is, given that Wormwood is a living thing. Eating the body and blood of one’s savior as a sole form of sustenance seems like it could be something profound to people to have to live there. Mostly it’s just a list of game effects though, because this is Rifts.

Regular objects of Wormwood matter are MDC, 50 to a 10 ft area, and an opening made this way will seal itself at a rate of one foot per minute. Basically, a small house has 25K MDC which is more than some gods. Corrupted areas of Wormwood get a save--or rather the good caster has to make an attack roll of 14 or more to cast successfully, and the reverse is true for evil in good lands. This roll seems to be unmodified. Trying to reverse a spell requires a 19 or higher and double PPE.

On to the spell list.


just...enjoy

Control Temperature: modify temperature by three degrees per level for an hour.

Create Burial Place: they repeat the saving throw text for every. single. spell. Anyway this creates a shallow grave and absorbs a body, allowing the planet to recycle it. 2-3 foot pillar optional. This spell is totally cool for like, working with a community in-game, but it’s one of six a priest automatically starts with and this is all it does.

Create Fountain of Water: Makes a fountain or pool of drinkable water. Neat! Also almost the only way to ever get water on Wormwood.

Create Life Force Cauldron: This is an evil spell, you are a bad person if you use it. Wormwood resists it and you have to roll 9 or higher. These cauldrons create evil things like worm zombies and magic slime. It is powered by human sacrifice.

Create Magic Slime: ‘see section on symbiotic organisms’, apparently a component of potions.

Create an Opening: Makes an opening of variable size in a Wormwood building, duration one minute. Wait, I hope houses grow natural doors. (They do)

Close an Opening: Closes an existing opening with a saving throw if it was an Opening made by an opening spell. Two minutes per level.

Create Pillar: Make a Wormwood pillar with small climbing branches up to 50 feet high and 25 MDC per five feet, which is downright flimsy compared to the houses.

Create Shelter: Creates a round hut that can house up to 2-3 people, duration variable.

Create Stairs: Make stairs. More PPE for longer duration.

Create Tunnel: Like the other shaping spells, tunnel.

Create Wall: As the others, a wall of tough Wormwood stuff.


worms for the worm throne

Create Worm Zombies: Made from a Life Force Cauldron, presumably by the Horned King, see dark minions. Evil only.

Destroy Life Force Cauldron: Spending a shitload of PPE makes this roll easier and disperses the life force cauldron.

Heat Point: Make an area one foot in diameter hot enough to do 2d6 SDC or light fires, maybe cook with. Given the non-existence of wood as a thing on Wormwood it seems less useful than it could be.

Hell Fire: Well this sounds ominous. It is an attack spell, 4d6MD and 2d4x10 to supernaturals, including vampires. It also lasts a full melee round, but it also takes a full round to cast.

Invisible to Magic Seeing: Pretty much exactly what it says, this is actually a pretty useful spell given the propensity of some alien intelligences to spy. Too bad it doesn’t work off Wormwood.

Life Fuel: A healing spell of various applications, can cure toxins and disease, free victims of mind control, allows giving of PPE to other Wormwood casters, shield their personal PPE from PPE vampirism, and limited direct SDC/MDC restoration.

Locate Places of Evil: Now, they went out of their way to say that the Sense Evil psi power was useless on Wormwood. But this one allows tracking of crawling towers, evil-dominated settlements, or armed camps. There isn’t a direct numerical statement but basically ‘a lot of evil’ so one alien intelligence or a lot of smaller demons.

Locate Food & Resources: What it says on the tin, except it won’t find crystals & symbiotes.

Locate Home Town: A legitimately useful power on a place with so few landmarks.

Impervious to Symbiotes: Alphabetical order is optional I see. This is more of an ability than a spell, it just makes the person immune to all symbiotes, good and bad. Priests and apoks only.

Mold Structures: More interior designing.

Open & Close Dimensional Rifts: As per the Core spells.

Remove Symbiotes: Allows removal of even hostile darkness symbiotes.

Repel Symbiotes: This is basically a turning spell, and can even stop crawling towers for a day if they fail a save.


but bats eat bugs!

Ride Giant Parasites: If you really want to. Lasts fifteen minutes per level, so keep an eye on your pack tick.

Summon & Use Angel Hair: Enough fiber falls to make a full suit of clothes.

Summon battle saint & Orbs: This is from the intro comic, waking the giant robot ‘symbiote’ or whatever with a bunch of PPE. Apparently battle saints are nearly undetectable until activated, so they might be buried all over the place and you’d have to go digging through random mega-damage hills to find out.

Summon Edible Grubs:

Summon Entities: This is an evil spell that summons ‘entities’ from the Conversion book to Wormwood.

Summon Flies: Insects have found their way into Wormwood and this is a spell that allows them to be summoned.

Summon & Use Symbiotes: Allows summoning symbiotes from the planet. Details to come.

Summon & Command Parasites: Expensive, evil.

Summon & Use Spirits of Wormwood: At the GM’s discretion there are no spirits (commonly called angels) available but at least you don’t lose PPE for that.

Summon & Use Stones & Crystals: Requires an unmodified 15 or higher to succeed and burns somewhere between 1d4-2d6 permanent PPE.

Summon Wind: Some weather effects, potentially useful, not interesting.

And that’s it for spells. A lot of these seem like just...spells. I don’t understand why a priest wouldn’t be able to cast Rifting spells off Wormwood, or the fire spells, or several others. I can see why ‘mold the living planet’ type spells wouldn’t work on non-living planets but the rest seems like an arbitrary restriction. Also, working with Wormwood to make housing any other way (except imported stone) is impossible, so you have either the church or weird shaman as civil engineers unless ordinary people can learn some of these. As well, it’d be kind of neat if the Priests of Light/Cathedral were working from a hidden level of technical knowledge that they did not commonly share and thus resented wormspeakers for using a certain natural affinity that rejected their hierarchy. This would be an interesting class conflict. But it isn’t written there.

It also means that again, the Priest (and to a lesser degree the Wormspeaker) start out with a really limited slate of abilities which are mostly non-combat. Also, the beginning of the section says that priests get the most (and they do get more by leveling but they start with less) and that evil and evil priests have a restricted list. This is a lie. There are several spells that are 'evil only' but none that are restricted to only good.

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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.

occamsnailfile posted:

Summon & Use Angel Hair: Enough fiber falls to make a full suit of clothes.
That spell is a lot more funny if you imagine it summons pasta instead.

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