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Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Rifts Wormwood: Big on worms, contains no wood.

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BerkerkLurk
Jul 22, 2001

I could never sleep my way to the top 'cause my alarm clock always wakes me right up

Incidentally, I remember the Palladium FAQ allowing Apok symbiotes to function outside of Wormwood so, presumably, your younger cousin who liked to start fires could play one.

Edit:
Human Ley Line Walkers ABCs: Always Be CastingArmorofIthan

BerkerkLurk fucked around with this message at 22:55 on Sep 23, 2013

Simian_Prime
Nov 6, 2011

When they passed out body parts in the comics today, I got Cathy's nose and Dick Tracy's private parts.

occamsnailfile posted:

*Stupid nitpicky Palladium nonsense*

As a frequent gamer, this kind of poo poo frustrates me to no end; endless lists of abilities that have no application in 99% of circumstances, and when they do, they could simply be resolved by an improvised roll, or basic roleplaying.

GM: "Ok, your party's about to travel the great wastes of Wormwood, so you're going to need food and supplies to aid your journey."

Player 1: "Can my priest use his Communion skill to draw up some nutrition from the planet itself? Maybe I could have some sort of fruit-bearing fungus grow from the ground?"

GM: "Interesting idea... ok, give me a roll, against a high difficulty, since you're raising food for multiple people."

Simple, right? No charts, no spell lists, no needless resource management. I know it's a different era of gaming, but Palladium's just so... backwards!

Adnachiel
Oct 21, 2012


Alien Rope Burn posted:

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.

Not to mention the fact that three of the Willow-Mistt characters are basically Darrin, Samantha, and Tabitha from Bewitched with different names, (four if you count the brief mention of an Endora like mother figure. You can argue successfully that their backgrounds are different enough to where they're their own characters. But that didn't seem to stop Harris with Sofia's Lucinda.), there's a shitload of elements from other series, mostly Bewitched, scattered throughout the setting, and their main artist thinks there's nothing wrong with using pictures (that I'm willing to bet are not stock photos) of real people who did not give their consent covered in Photoshop effects as the artwork for a professional product that they expect people to pay for.

Then again, I half suspect that they're not suing anyone at all and just using it as an excuse to get attention or explain why it takes them so long to come out with things.

FourmyleCircus posted:

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.

So by their logic, Atlanta Nights is a perfectly fine book with excellent storytelling and Calvinball is the perfect game. No wonder they decided to make a game for children...

I mentioned their "All characters are self-inserts and/or Mary Sues" viewpoint before, and it's still bullshit. Just because you're playing a character in a tabletop game doesn't automatically mean that you are that character. And if one is so inclined and a good enough writer, it is perfectly possible to make a character that is both nothing like you and not a god among men. Then again, I don't think Harris and Soto really even know what the hell a Mary Sue actually is based on how the Mary Sue talent is used in-game. The term itself is nebulous as gently caress and can mean a whole bunch of things, but I highly doubt it means "Narcissist with enabling parents, pink hair, a lovely attitude, and Cyclops from X-Men's power" and not "Super powerful 12 year old witch who murdered a doctor seconds after she was born, can murder people at the snap of a finger, is more powerful than some witches who are centuries old, and somehow still has friends and hasn't been kicked out of school to protect the lives of the other students despite breaking the rules frequently".

As a bit of an aside, I've thought about actually trying to rewrite this game on and off (including proposing it in this thread as a goon project. But I know how those usually go). I want to like this game, but it's just so god drat terrible on every single level. The reasons I haven't done so are 1: , 2: I'm an idiot when it comes to hard game mechanics and unlike Harris, I'm not going to pretend that I know what I'm doing, and 3: I'm just completely overwhelmed by the idea. Even if you didn't completely scrap the setting, there's still very little that's salvageable.

And of course, in the time it takes a person to do that, they could've just ran an age appropriate game with another, better constructed system.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Yeah, I'm not sure why you'd want to "salvage" Witch Girl Adventures, I've seen nothing to suggest that there are any pearls either mechanically or fluffwise that deserve to be rescued from there. Even Cthulhutech has a handful of interesting and cool ideas buried underneath the hot mess that's 90% of everything else but strip the poo poo out of WGA and you have, what, the concept of a game about magical teenagers going to magic school and dealing with crazy hijinks of a magical nature? Just run Monsters and Other Childish Things, call it a day.

(Likewise, all the calls I've seen from gamers over the years who think it'd be a good idea to "revise" RIFTS always baffle me...it's like, take your favorite relatively flexible system and then throw in everything you thought was cool when you were 12, bam, done.)

Poland Spring
Sep 11, 2005


Cardiovorax posted:

That spell is a lot more funny if you imagine it summons pasta instead.

Finally, I can make a real Pastamancer.

occamsnailfile
Nov 4, 2007



zamtrios so lonely

Grimey Drawer

Rifts:™ Dimension Book One: Wormwood Part 19: “Symbiotic Organisms of Wormwood”




Basically, Wormwood has symbiotic organisms that work with the planet, and with humans. The Forces of Darkness have made corrupted versions of some of these. The Cathedral frowns on them for unspecified reasons. They can only be removed with the Remove Symbiotes spell. They shrivel and die when removed from Wormwood, which I think is lame, and work on pretty much any humanoid but not creatures of magic like dragons. Unlike the symbiotes in Atlantis, these are largely positive if gross-looking to cultures that frown on having worms in the mouth.


a...symbiote?

They’re arranged sort of alphabetically and sort of by category and so we start with the Battle Saint. These giant organic robots predate Evangelion and so do not have teeth. They do however mimic the owners skills’ and attacks, and have MDC equal to the pilot times 20, and I assume that means you do not multiply in SDC for SDC-humans. Which is pretty weak for a skyscraper-sized robot honestly, given that most humans will have 20-30 MDC including class bonuses. Holy Terrors can have comparable MDC as a base class. Only Wormwood humans, major psionics, cyber-knights (for...reasons?) and True Atlanteans (because gently caress those guys) can pilot these.

When defeated at least they just turn back into a hill and can’t be awakened again for a week, they can’t be destroyed. Only 12 are known to exist and 5 of those are in one location. Good job, Wormwood. Their damage is merely passable for what they represent (1d6x10 MD punch) and they can activate a few spells including Close Rift. Kind of a letdown as the good guys’ single greatest weapon, of which only a few exist.

Battle Saint Orbs are like floating Saint heads with less MDC, fewer attacks, and more spells. 32 exist though some are lost.

Spirits of Wormwood are like ‘shimmering humanoid mists’ and are sometimes called angels. They will attach themselves to a host body and give them some special abilities for 3d4 hours, including flight, imperviousness to ‘energy’ though magic does half damage, various psionic powers, some armor, and intuitive knowledge of the Wormwood area.

Next we get to ‘claws’. Claws have native 40 MDC and attach to various points of the body, where they adhere. They include claws to permit seeing the invisible (??) and increasing magical power, piddly MDC damage, increased running speed, and claws on eyestalks that can see around corners and see invisible and stuff. Not freaky. The claws in general aren’t great except the Booster claw that increases magic.



Next, crawlers. Look like centipedes or something. 50 MDC. These tend to look like bugs with tendrils proceeding into the skin. A bit unsettling, obviously. They do stuff like making one immune to psionics, illusions, and mind control, grant 80 MDC (which seems to be fittable under armor, this is pretty good), grant imperviousness to fire, heat, disease, poison, and grants limited regeneration. That one reduces PPE by 1/3rd though. There’s a phantom-of-the-opera looking mask one that grants permanent mind/aura block and protects against most psionics and illusions. The next one raises PS and lets one never fatigue but reduces speed by 1/5th. Another one grants immunity to life draining which could be quite useful though at a 20% MA cost. Pff, dump stats. Another is a ruby necklace with bug legs that allows comprehend languages and vampire immunity but makes food taste blander. Last is a little black orb with legs that grants some bonuses against poisons and potions (and one evil item is specifically a potion-maker) and also allows secreting poison. The crawlers have some heavy costs associated with them but they grant some pretty beneficial effects.

Stars resemble starfish and I am not going to be able to see them as anything but various sizes and colors of Starro so I am not even going to try.


typical wormwood schoolchild

Stars seem to grant more direct powers versus the buffs made by the crawlers. The first one creates a bright shining wall that repels undead, ‘shadow beasts’ and basically darkness-dwelling creatures and deflects lasers, can be done 2/round. The mindstar actually does look like the picture above, grants some psionic powers. The magicstar grants a lot of Wormwood sensing powers and is a PPE battery that regenerates hourly. That’s it for stars, they’re decent but not much variety.

Worms! Some of these seem to be fairly standard equipment in Wormwood judging by the NPC writeups. Worms of armor provide 60 MDC and regenerate themselves, and don’t appear to be incompatible with the armor crawler above. Worms of blood are tiny, thin, red worms.


like, you know, bloodworms

These are swallowed alive to stop internal bleeding or will halt bleeding and close a cut ten times faster than normal. Worms of Mending actually repair injuries in ten minutes and look like white pieces of thread. The worm of power attaches to the tongue like that horrible fish parasite and allows casting of a few energy spells. Worms of seeing also rest in the mouth and grant several informational spells and sensing forces of the Unholy. Worms of speech allows talking with pretty much anything that can be talked to, including spirits. Worm of spirit is a thin purple worm also attached to the mouth or tongue. They allow casting of turn dead, constrain being, exorcism, and remove curse among a couple others. Given that at least two of the things in this section allow speaking all languages, making Wormwood speak Earth-English (modern even) is pretty needless. There isn't a lot of variety overall for like say classes such as the Symbiotic Warrior, who might enjoy the benefits of the magic boosting symbiotes but has no native spellcasting abilities. Aside from attribute costs, there aren't really any limitations on getting these, except for classes that are supposed to use them extensively and therefore have a strictly limited regime on how many they can have.

The Wormspeaker class gets all of the ‘attach’ worms by default, which gives them a passable battery of spells to cast but makes them gross, and the abilities they get are not fantastic. They get a few other symbiotes later, at set levels--it doesn’t say how others might be limited in acquiring these, outside of having to cast that expensive spell that Priests of Light won’t want to do. These symbiotes are the sorts of things that would cost literally millions of credits in other books, but Wormwood operates on a moneyless hierarchical barter system so the PCs would have to grind rep to get them. It also isn’t clear why the Cathedral frowns on symbiotes, some of them seem like they’d be very helpful or even essential (worms of blood and mending) to normal living. If it’s because they want people to depend on their priests I could believe that, they just never say this or explain why these natural products of their beloved planet are so hated.

Next: Corrupted symbiotes. It's not Rifts if the badguys don't have exclusive and often superior versions.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



I'm surprised, given how symbiote heavy it is, that Splicers is not related to Wormwood.

Bitchtits McGee
Jul 1, 2011


Adnachiel posted:

So by their logic, [...] Calvinball is the perfect game.

You tryin' to say it isn't? 'Cause them's fightin' words, son.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


One of the things about the early Rifts books is the half-assed transhumanism, by which I mean things like juicers, crazies, borgs, etc., and the symbiotes in Atlantis and Wormwood. There's this focus on humanity becoming more, but it always seems to be accompanied by some terrible cost, to the point that transhumanism is actually just dehumanizing. I imagine that's part of why symbiotes aren't allowed off of Wormwood; Siembieda allows no free lunches. Even when there's a method to transhumanity like bio-wizardry that doesn't carry any drawbacks, he draws a hard line and makes it the sole province of the malevolent Splugorth, who solely use it on humans to torment, mock, or punish them with a good dose of body horror.

Later writers (hey, Carella) start to introduce superhumans that don't have a "why did we ever play goddddd" angle, but Siembieda seems to ban it unless some magical heritage is involved. Wizard Magic supremacy wins again, I guess.

ShinyBirdTeeth
Nov 7, 2011

sparkle sparkle sparkle

The "Why did we play God!?" angle is such a lazy way to deal with technology and we, as a culture, have been going to that well for way too long, but it is especially crazy here. You live on your God and God is giving you pieces of himself. How could any religion object to literally incorporating elements of the divine into your body? This would be like the Catholic Church saying, "Nah, we don't really approve of you accepting the Holy Spirit or the Eucharist. That would be tampering with humanity." Take your parasite communion, space Catholics!

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine


Yet another thing TORG does better than Rifts. "Why wouldn't God want you to have Wi-Fi?"

Covok
May 27, 2013

Yet where is that woman now? Tell me, in what heave does she reside? None of them. Because no God bothered to listen or care. If that is what you think it means to be a God, then you and all your teachings are welcome to do as that poor women did. And vanish from these realms forever.


MrMenshevik posted:

The "Why did we play God!?" angle is such a lazy way to deal with technology and we, as a culture, have been going to that well for way too long, but it is especially crazy here. You live on your God and God is giving you pieces of himself. How could any religion object to literally incorporating elements of the divine into your body? This would be like the Catholic Church saying, "Nah, we don't really approve of you accepting the Holy Spirit or the Eucharist. That would be tampering with humanity." Take your parasite communion, space Catholics!

I've got to disagree a bit. From a narrative standpoint, I personally find it more interesting to take an angle of power with a price. Just getting transcendent power without any downsides, negatives, tradeoffs, etc. is a little boring. I'm not saying full-on "Why did we play God?" angle, but the "I juice up on super steroids everyday with no side effects" is a little meh to me. It just makes the character feel more human and relateable when his attainment of power comes with a downside. I mean that tends to be the case: obtaining power -- be it social, political, career based, etc. -- comes with unforeseen responsibilities and consequences. The consequences doesn't have to be directly related to the power; maybe people fear you because of your transcendence and you can no longer go back to your old life.

All that said, it doesn't really work for most trpgs and rifts is definitely one of them. A game that goes for being the big, larger than life heroes who wreck people's poo poo, is better off just giving players power to foster that feeling of "larger-than-life-ness".

Covok fucked around with this message at 18:31 on Sep 25, 2013

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Yeah. Siembieda has a number of evil geneticists, as if delving into the mere secrets of life was enough to drive one mad. That bug scientist in Mutants in Orbit, and then later characters like the Angel of Death or Desmond Bradford... hell, a later book introduces an entire race whose only deal is kidnapping creatures and making them into genetically modified monsters. It's literally their whole deal.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

I always thought it was some half-assed way to look edgy, while chanting the mantra of game balance. Everything's a Faustian bargain, unless you can clamber out of it or leave it behind. Drugs of any sort will gently caress you up, bionics will... sort of gently caress you up, many sorts of implants or symbiotes will gently caress you up (or just look really gross), being experimented upon will gently caress you up...

Game balance, while a lovely stick, is kind of understandable. If any human character can get their hands on symbiotes or implants or et-ceteras that do neat things, that's raising the bar for NPCs and menaces.

What I'd like to think is going on here, is Wormwood itself snuffs the symbiotes when they leave. Maybe they're powered by some weird kind of near-field radiation, and their batteries cack out 1d6 hours later. It keeps them from feeding off the user's life force, and it's a defense mechanism... because given how incestuous the Megaverse is, you can be sure that Wormwood's creators were aware of the Splugorth. Just imagine one of them with an invasion force, using bio-wizardry to turn it into a factory for twisted parasites and symbiotes the likes of which Lesion and Co. might only dream of.

ShinyBirdTeeth
Nov 7, 2011

sparkle sparkle sparkle

Covok posted:

I've got to disagree a bit. From a narrative standpoint, I personally find it more interesting to take an angle of power with a price. Just getting transcendent power without any downsides, negatives, tradeoffs, etc. is a little boring. I'm not saying full-on "Why did we play God?" angle, but the "I juice up on super steroids everyday with no side effects" is a little meh to me. It just makes the character feel more human and relateable when his attainment of power comes with a downside. I mean that tends to be the case: obtaining power -- be it social, political, career based, etc. -- comes with unforeseen responsibilities and consequences. The consequences doesn't have to be directly related to the power; maybe people fear you because of your transcendence and you can no longer go back to your old life.

All that said, it doesn't really work for most trpgs and rifts is definitely one of them. A game that goes for being the big, larger than life heroes who wreck people's poo poo, is better off just giving players power to foster that feeling of "larger-than-life-ness".

I definitely see your point. Things get stale if I can just use my "I win" button in every situation. I was bugged a bit more by the idea that the Cathedral would frown on them or that they would in any way seem objectionable. You could even use the drawbacks as part of the necessary suffering one experiences getting closer to Wormwood. I know it has been said before, but if you're going to go with a space Catholic setting, why not do more to integrate it? One would expect that choosing to reject Wormwood's grace (in the form of the symbiotes) would be some sort of blasphemy. You're claiming to know better than and not need divine assistance. I'm also just a sucker for abnormal or monstrous things turning out to be benevolent, so that could explain some of my ire.

MJ12
Apr 8, 2009



Bieeardo posted:

I always thought it was some half-assed way to look edgy, while chanting the mantra of game balance. Everything's a Faustian bargain, unless you can clamber out of it or leave it behind. Drugs of any sort will gently caress you up, bionics will... sort of gently caress you up, many sorts of implants or symbiotes will gently caress you up (or just look really gross), being experimented upon will gently caress you up...

Game balance, while a lovely stick, is kind of understandable. If any human character can get their hands on symbiotes or implants or et-ceteras that do neat things, that's raising the bar for NPCs and menaces.

What I'd like to think is going on here, is Wormwood itself snuffs the symbiotes when they leave. Maybe they're powered by some weird kind of near-field radiation, and their batteries cack out 1d6 hours later. It keeps them from feeding off the user's life force, and it's a defense mechanism... because given how incestuous the Megaverse is, you can be sure that Wormwood's creators were aware of the Splugorth. Just imagine one of them with an invasion force, using bio-wizardry to turn it into a factory for twisted parasites and symbiotes the likes of which Lesion and Co. might only dream of.

Yeah the problem is that you can be a Juicer or Crazy which is either likely to be borderline-unplayable insane or dies in a few years or... you can play a cyborg who looks and feels and acts just like a regular person with the sole cost being no natural healing (not a problem when you're either likely to survive uninjured or get vaporized) and a reduced sense of touch.

Honestly if juicers were restricted because of the costs of the drugs instead of having a limited lifespan that'd be far more interesting, and it'd explain why not everyone's a juicer. Sure, you're a super-human with no real disadvantages... as long as you have a ton of money or someone paying for them.

I think it's a superhero thing, honestly. Notice that in superhero comics that being born with ridiculous superpowers is totally fine? But wanting them and using science to get them? 90% of the time you turn out evil or crippled. The other 10% of the time the event is irreproducible. Great if you're making a setting with crazy super cyborgs yet want it to look superficially like real life.

Not so great if you've already thrown away that stuff entirely.

BerkerkLurk
Jul 22, 2001

I could never sleep my way to the top 'cause my alarm clock always wakes me right up

Alien Rope Burn posted:

but Siembieda seems to ban it unless some magical heritage is involved. Wizard Magic supremacy wins again, I guess.
Good call, a prime example I can think of are the Spirit Warriors. Yeesh. They had access to legendary Fetishes (think major Rune Weapons without any drawbacks) and a list of powers to choose from. IIRC you could easily have regenerating MDC, supernatural strength, major psionics, and supersonic flight, all in your undershorts. No drawbacks.

BerkerkLurk fucked around with this message at 20:34 on Sep 25, 2013

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

MJ12 posted:

Honestly if juicers were restricted because of the costs of the drugs instead of having a limited lifespan that'd be far more interesting, and it'd explain why not everyone's a juicer. Sure, you're a super-human with no real disadvantages... as long as you have a ton of money or someone paying for them.

I think it's a superhero thing, honestly. Notice that in superhero comics that being born with ridiculous superpowers is totally fine? But wanting them and using science to get them? 90% of the time you turn out evil or crippled. The other 10% of the time the event is irreproducible. Great if you're making a setting with crazy super cyborgs yet want it to look superficially like real life.

I agree. To teenaged me, Juicers looked hardcore, the epitome of... well, like they quote in the book: 'live fast, die young'. But... how many campaigns last four, five, six in-continuity years? The Juicer Augmentation Packs in Triax were an interesting idea, and I really liked Juicer Uprising overall, but... pfft. As a balancing mechanism, the expiry date is worthless. Crazies are worthless from the word 'go'. Borgs make abysmal wizards and are supposed to have trouble with tactile senses and things, but whatever.

I think a lot of it comes from transhumanism being considered through the lens of old-school cyberpunk. Everything is gritty, grimy, and everyone is selling little bits and pieces of their bodies and souls to get by. There's the game designer's anxiety over how to get players not to pick the most obviously powerful splat. Then there's the author's personal anxieties... and as we've seen, Kev just loves his editorializations.

And yeah, if you're born to it, or if it's magical, it's part of the natural order! You're manifesting as one of Earth's antibodies, or Gaia is expressing energies kept dormant since the time of the Philosopher-Kings of Lemuria (Coming Soon from Palladium Books!)

Or in the case of Spirit Warriors and whatnot, it's noble savage fetishization.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Bieeardo posted:

Crazies are worthless from the word 'go'. Borgs make abysmal wizards and are supposed to have trouble with tactile senses and things, but whatever.

Yeah, the big issue with crazies is that most of their benefits are inconsequential. What does regeneration matter when you're still just S.D.C.? Who cares about their piddly psionics when 10% of the human population gets nearly three times as many psionic powers? What does enhanced speed matter when your buddy has a vehicle? When "heightened senses" are your most widely applicable ability and the chances of you getting permanent penalties from insanity are unsmall, you've got a problem. At least Mindwerks improved them (most notably by letting you play an M.D.C. crazy or whatever) but also had the chance of you getting horrible brain trauma at the same time.

I was too kind on them in my original review, but oh well.

Bieeardo posted:

You're manifesting as one of Earth's antibodies, or Gaia is expressing energies kept dormant since the time of the Philosopher-Kings of Lemuria (Coming Soon from Palladium Books!)

Surprisingly enough, Rifts World Book 32: Lemuria did finally come out, though I think it's lacking Philosopher-Kings. It's a thing.

JohnnyCanuck
May 28, 2004

Strong And/Or Free


Alien Rope Burn posted:

Surprisingly enough, Rifts World Book 32: Lemuria did finally come out, though I think it's lacking Philosopher-Kings. It's a thing.
To anyone who owns it let me guess as to the contents:
Lemuria is a crazy place filled with wild stuff!
In fact, there's so much stuff that we're going to spin it all off into two extra books!
Then, we'll spend every other paragraph talking about how you can learn more about this kinda neat thing in RIFTS: Lemuria 2 and/or RIFTS: Lemuria 3!

...Books that may never actually ever come out!

HitTheTargets
Mar 3, 2006

I came here to laugh at you.


I want to believe that The Kev read the origin of the name Lemuria and immediately wrote up that world book. A lost continent of super-intelligent offshoot primates, who know exactly 17 kinds of spells and have MDC for no reason.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

And a reprint of the Tree People from RIFTS Africa.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


The sad truth for people expecting Kevin's tropes to be repeated ad infinitum is that he doesn't do as much writing for the game line anymore as he did early on (in stark contrast to the books we've covered for F&F). A lot of books, like Lemuria, have writers recruited through the fandom via The Rifter and bring a fairly different sensibility to the line. Like, say, not promising Rifts World Book 37: Lemuria 3: The Brine Jammers.

But then, Rifts World Book 33: Northern Gun One was slated for January 2013 and still isn't out, and they're also taking pre-orders for Rifts World Book 34: Northern Gun Two while they're at it, even though both books were announced two years ago and crowdfunded over fourteen months ago. Why the wait? I'm not going to say it's because Kevin is involved in writing both books, but I'm just going to leave that fact on the table.

Synthbuttrange
May 6, 2007



Failed on his writing skill roll, has to gather ingredients again.

occamsnailfile
Nov 4, 2007



zamtrios so lonely

Grimey Drawer

Rifts:™ Dimension Book One: Wormwood Part 20: “Bad guy worms”



Since this is Rifts, evil has to have its own versions of stuff which are probably better than the good ones. They will also look grosser and do more harm to the wearer but haha evil.


this will surely help with getting through college

These are all evil ‘symbiotes’ of evil that are not really symbiotic at all. Things like ‘life force batteries’ which weaken the host and drain their PPE. Also it specifies that the Unholy calls those ‘soul batteries’ but they don’t actually eat souls, unlike practically everything else in Rifts. The batteries are used to subjugate and punish humans and the stored PPE is used by their evil sorcerers. Life Force Cauldrons are the feared sacrificial altars where human PPE energy is absorbed and stored from victims. Requires a spell to truly destroy. Magic Slime is a base component of several potions and ointments that mimic Core book spells. There’s also debilitating and magic-nullifying slime, and even a healing slime that costs 1000 PPE to make. Lastly there’s a stasis slime that does...stasis. It doesn’t say that evil humans can’t use the other types of symbiotes but it does say the ‘Forces of Darkness’ cannot, so that’s a bit unclear.

Now we get to things they actually call parasites. If they think those other things are ‘symbiotes’, I am not sure they understand what the word ‘parasite’ means. But anyway these are created beings that serve as troops of the Unholy and there are a variety as one might expect. Originally Wormwood made parasites as part of its defense mechanisms and apparently they have all been completely corrupted, Wormwood can no longer make the useful ones. They are typical Siembieda monsters who enjoy hunting and killing and tormenting other beings. Also, after specifically giving a couple classes in here poison attacks, all of these are immune to poison.

Battler Parasite

not your Siembieda usual, but close

These are huge, fifty foot battle bugs--the battle saint fought one in the comic. They do more damage than the saints and have on average roughly equal MDC. And the Unholy can grow more.

Tick Parasite

aww, that one’s just kinda goofy-lookin’

These descriptions refer to specific points where some of these can be seen in the comic, which is actually helpful. These are fairly common attack bugs, 60 MDC, annoying (45%) pounce attack that works on things 10ft or smaller--this very specifically includes non-upsized Holy Terrors, who are 10ft exactly, and pinned characters can’t make physical attacks or even roll to escape it seems.

Beetle Parasite
Lumpy potato body of a tick but with big beetle mandibles and and fangs and stuff. Tougher than the tick, more likely to succeed on a pounce, all around slightly more annoying bullshit. Also has more MDC in the head than in the main body because gently caress you called shots.

Monster Worm Parasite
Horrible giant worm that snakes silently along the ground, smooth and unsegmented but not lumpy. Big enough to swallow a human target whole, though lacks rules for doing this and can only knock over, not pounce/pin.

Tangle Worm Parasite

looks like a sideways roper to me

Long worm with a turtle-like head and fangy mouth. Two long entangling tentacles. Has a 50% chance to entangle that works like the pins from the tick/beetle. These are actually relatively easy to deal with damage-wise but these high-success immobilization attacks are seriously annoying, especially when they hunt in packs.

That’s all the worms, next we get to things called ‘Kriktons’ which are more insectoid generally.

The Krikton Flailer is first, and is noted for having low-human intelligence to go with its predatory bloodlust. A bit more generally tough than the beetles, with a stupid pounce attack AND tail entangle.


this thing having a knife actually kind of cracks me up

Next is the Krikton Leaper.

i admit, that is a fairly badass insect ride, aside from the chaos symbols

Huge and feared, very tough, very likely to pounce and pin an opponent for continued biting.

Then we have a Krikton Battle Wagon. This is not a machine, but a living being with wheels like inline skates. Bumpy wheels. Here, look.


rule...britannia?

Anyway they’re big attack wagons and though they don’t seem to carry passengers. They have a lot of weapons and attack hard but they can’t pin, just knockdown. They can fire spines as a volley, but have a limited number. They’re just big rollerblade tanks.

Last for this section, the Crawling Towers.

play your preferred version of the ghost & goblins music here

Moving fortresses of evil made from the stuff of the planet. I like the idea of these though I would’ve given them centipede legs. They’re quite tough, as one would expect, but only move about 10 mph. They can be stopped in place by certain Wormwood spells, which will probably enrage the large number of residents. 6000 MDC per ten foot story, about 8-12 stories.

All of these have kind of a lot of MDC for being disposable enemies, probably to cope with classes like the apok and Holy Terror. Also, the pounce-pin attack is waaaaaaay overpowered since it only has to succeed once and that PC is basically out of the fight unless someone else saves them, since they apparently cannot resist once pinned. I mean, I don't think that what Rifts needs is a grappling flowchart, but that one wasn't thought through.

Alright, enough. Next, Stones and Crystals.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


occamsnailfile posted:

All of these have kind of a lot of MDC for being disposable enemies, probably to cope with classes like the apok and Holy Terror. Also, the pounce-pin attack is waaaaaaay overpowered since it only has to succeed once and that PC is basically out of the fight unless someone else saves them, since they apparently cannot resist once pinned. I mean, I don't think that what Rifts needs is a grappling flowchart, but that one wasn't thought through.

Yeah, this leaves to the Murphy's where most grappling attacks in Rifts are size-dependent but not strength-dependent, and so a 26 strength bug can grapple a 60 strength godling, and the godling can't break free ever. But a wizard can still cast spells while grappled, because Rifts magic doesn't require gesticulating.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Alien Rope Burn posted:

Yeah, this leaves to the Murphy's where most grappling attacks in Rifts are size-dependent but not strength-dependent, and so a 26 strength bug can grapple a 60 strength godling, and the godling can't break free ever. But a wizard can still cast spells while grappled, because Rifts magic doesn't require gesticulating.

That's when you cut off that wizard's hands and replace them with cyber. That'll fix him.

Fossilized Rappy
Dec 26, 2012


After a long hiatus of attempting to figure out how to make Dead From Above funny, I think I'm going to have to throw in the towel and admit that the final two books of Weird War II aren't going to be getting reviews.

Dead From Above is abysmally boring. It's good from a game standpoint, as obviously aircraft rules are a pretty drat important thing for a World War II game, but from a review standpoint it's just...there. Land of the Rising Dead also has its worst attributes stuffed away in a back-of-the-book adventure, so that's not quite going anywhere either. Long story short: I'd say mark Weird War II as abandoned, as it's not going any further.

As for what I'll be doing next for the thread when I feel up to it, I'm thinking of maybe actually going off the beaten path. Rather than reviewing larger books like we are prone to doing, I was thinking of maybe doing a "snapshots" feature where each post is a collection of multiple little supplements from a specific creator such as Chris Fields. I may also intersperse those with reviews of some third party books for d20 Modern.

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




Fossilized Rappy posted:

Dead From Above is abysmally boring. It's good from a game standpoint, as obviously aircraft rules are a pretty drat important thing for a World War II game, but from a review standpoint it's just...there. Land of the Rising Dead also has its worst attributes stuffed away in a back-of-the-book adventure, so that's not quite going anywhere either. Long story short: I'd say mark Weird War II as abandoned, as it's not going any further.

Can we at least get a snapshot of the adventure? Is it really racist, really railroady, really poorly balanced, etc.?

ThisIsNoZaku
Apr 22, 2013

Pew Pew Pew!


Young Freud posted:

That's when you cut off that wizard's hands and replace them with cyber. That'll fix him.

When I first read this, I thought you'd written "head" instead of "hands" and was really struggling to imagine how that would work without just killing the wizard.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Young Freud posted:

That's when you cut off that wizard's hands and replace them with cyber. That'll fix him.

I'm sure you probably know, but everybody else might not: this is actually brought up as an anti-wizard solution in later books.

Why just cutting off their hands alone isn't enough to gently caress with their magic remains a mystery.

MJ12
Apr 8, 2009



ThisIsNoZaku posted:

When I first read this, I thought you'd written "head" instead of "hands" and was really struggling to imagine how that would work without just killing the wizard.

It says something about RIFTs that you didn't reject that idea outright as too stupid.

Bitchtits McGee
Jul 1, 2011


ThisIsNoZaku posted:

When I first read this, I thought you'd written "head" instead of "hands" and was really struggling to imagine how that would work without just killing the wizard.

But just think, if it works...

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Alien Rope Burn posted:

I'm sure you probably know, but everybody else might not: this is actually brought up as an anti-wizard solution in later books.

Why just cutting off their hands alone isn't enough to gently caress with their magic remains a mystery.

Yeah, I think it was that book, one of the Coalition military books, I think, I was referring to. When you brought up the gesticulating, that's what I immediately thought of, even though I'm certain that Siembedia played fast and loose with how magic works. Cybernetically replacing the hands should probably do the job if gesticulation was a component of spellcasting.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Young Freud posted:

Yeah, I think it was that book, one of the Coalition military books, I think, I was referring to. When you brought up the gesticulating, that's what I immediately thought of, even though I'm certain that Siembedia played fast and loose with how magic works. Cybernetically replacing the hands should probably do the job if gesticulation was a component of spellcasting.

Yeah. At this point there's no actual justification for why bionics disrupt spellcasting, they just do, dammit. I thought there was, but on further examination there isn't any at this point. There's a justification given for psionics being wrecked by cyborgization, but not magic, but even that starts to fall apart in the sourcebooks when you have a psionic ARCHIE-3, or the psionic mechanoids...

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'm sure you probably know, but everybody else might not: this is actually brought up as an anti-wizard solution in later books.

Why just cutting off their hands alone isn't enough to gently caress with their magic remains a mystery.
You know the easiest thing is that the Ultimate Edition hints at is that a large amount of magic is verbalized meaning that having the caster go death or mute would work far better.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

I remember cyber vs. magic/psi being brought up in the original run of Sourcebook One, but not what specific rationale was given. Something about it damaging PPE reserves or something. Borgs had even lower PPE than regular people do, don't they?

It probably mutated from a balance ruling. RIFTS own peasant railgun.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


MadScientistWorking posted:

You know the easiest thing is that the Ultimate Edition hints at is that a large amount of magic is verbalized meaning that having the caster go death or mute would work far better.

The original core does the same, so yeah, you'd figure tongue removal would work, replacing it with a cyber-tongue doubly so. However, implanting multiple rail gun rounds into their brain would probably be the most effective surgical option.

Bieeardo posted:

I remember cyber vs. magic/psi being brought up in the original run of Sourcebook One, but not what specific rationale was given. Something about it damaging PPE reserves or something. Borgs had even lower PPE than regular people do, don't they?

It reduces PPE in the corebook, but doesn't say why. I actually just looked through Rifts Sourcebook and it goes on and on about the fact that it disrupts magic but never says why there, either, which is impressive as Kev discusses it for over a full page.

Alien Rope Burn fucked around with this message at 19:39 on Sep 27, 2013

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HitTheTargets
Mar 3, 2006

I came here to laugh at you.


ThisIsNoZaku posted:

When I first read this, I thought you'd written "head" instead of "hands" and was really struggling to imagine how that would work without just killing the wizard.

Yo, you ever heard of the Metabarons? Look up Steelhead when you have some free time.

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