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Libertad!
Oct 30, 2013

You can have the last word, but I'll have the last laugh!

BryanChavez posted:

I remember Wick waging a one-man war on rpg.net to prove that Diplomacy was the actual first RPG, because of how much he personally disliked Dungeons & Dragons. When I saw this section in Houses of the Blooded for the first time, I couldn't help but completely lose it.

Funny that he went on to write a "Wicked Fantasy" book for Pathfinder. Maybe a 3rd Edition variant doesn't count or something.

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FMguru
Sep 10, 2003

peed on;
sexually

Libertad! posted:

Funny that he went on to write a "Wicked Fantasy" book for Pathfinder. Maybe a 3rd Edition variant doesn't count or something.
I dunno if Wick hated D&D so much as he hated 3E because 1) it was masterminded by his arch-enemy Ryan Dancey and 2) the way it dragged the hobby backwards towards its monster-punching and 10' square graph paper roots and away from his preferred richly-metaplotted detailed settings with a particular focus. I got the sense he was fine with D&D as long as it stayed back in 1982 or whenever, but it had no place in the 21st century given the advances and developments in the hobby since Gygax and Arneson first got together.

As for writing a PF book, well, a brother's gotta eat.

Comrade Koba
Jul 2, 2007





FMguru posted:

I dunno if Wick hated D&D so much as he hated 3E

John Wick posted:

Well, friends and neighbors, I have seen D&D3, and I can tell you this:
I'm doing a d20 Adventure.
I've seen the best WotC can do.
It was s***.

I'm gonna blow their socks off.
And they'll hold that book up at the steps of Wizards Central and shout at the top of their lungs: "Why can't you make something this good?"

Didn't he also hilariously fail to follow through on this?

FMguru
Sep 10, 2003

peed on;
sexually

Comrade Koba posted:

Didn't he also hilariously fail to follow through on this?
He published one tepidly-received D20 adventure titled "What's That Smell?" which somehow failed to shatter the granite pillars that D&D3E was erected upon and send it crashing to the ground, and then he dropped it and moved on.



Someone really should write it up for F&F (not me, I don't own a copy).

Synthbuttrange
May 6, 2007



Smells pretty awful, whatever it is.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Mr. Maltose posted:

Can we please, this one last time I will ask, stop calling John Wick a bad person because he is a bad game designer. I get it. He makes bad unfun games and likes poison and is therefore scum. You can stop constantly stating that he's a huge manchild and if he was dying in the desert it'd be a favor to let him dry out.

I feel like I egged some of this on with my Way of the Scorpion preview, but if one thing it demonstrated is that Wick puts a lot of himself into his work, like having stand-ins for himself and people he knows in that book. The problem is that it gets very hard to divide Wick's design work from his personal life because he lets the two blur and puts a lot of himself into his work. He strikes me as an author badly in need of an editor, and never willing to put up with one, so... what we get is what we get. Sometimes he can be really innovative and cool, and sometimes he can be really regressive and pompous. Unfortunately, the latter tends to stand out more in reviews like these.

Also, I've gotten to see the man have a huge shouting tantrum in front of me. I don't wish ill on him, and that doesn't necessarily make him a huge manchild or a bad person, but he has done some questionable stuff that's on the public record and people are free to draw their own conclusions.

Libertad! posted:

Funny that he went on to write a "Wicked Fantasy" book for Pathfinder. Maybe a 3rd Edition variant doesn't count or something.

About a decade ago, he announced he was going to write a d20 adventure to "steal Ryan's customers." He was going to write something so good that it would blow the industry's socks off and cause WotC to be publicly shamed by how good it was. (Edit: beaten to it, but the link is handy if you want the full, unedited screed.)

The adventure went entirely under the radar and socks remained on their feet.

Alien Rope Burn fucked around with this message at 07:55 on Nov 3, 2013

GimmickMan
Dec 27, 2011



I can't wait for John Wick telling us about how to be like him.

I thought his master 3E adventure was 'The Last Paladin', and I don't know how you could get any blander and easy to miss than that.

AmiYumi
Oct 10, 2005

I Forgot To Hail King Torg


FMguru posted:

He published one tepidly-received D20 adventure titled "What's That Smell?" which somehow failed to shatter the granite pillars that D&D3E was erected upon and send it crashing to the ground, and then he dropped it and moved on.



Someone really should write it up for F&F (not me, I don't own a copy).
I actually picked this up a while back.

It's terribly-written, betrays a complete lack of understanding of even the most basic aspects of 3e*, and is chock-full of character-punishing bullshit**. Also, if I remember right, it justifies being absurdly deadly for no reward with "hey, it's not like you have to keep playing; you can just flee the area like the spineless coward I know you are."

*Like most poorly-written early d20 products, it's a mix of badly-designed 3e and badly-designed 2e, with many assumed (but never explained) houserules.

**IIRC the only treasure is hidden well out of the way any PC would reasonably go, behind multiple double-bluff false doors and the like, and is trapped to the extent that it is 99% likely kill any PC who tries to take it at the recommended level. And after all that, it's still way under value for the adventure, and belongs to an NPC that will want it back.

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 egged some of this on with my Way of the Scorpion preview, but if one thing it demonstrated is that Wick puts a lot of himself into his work, like having stand-ins for himself and people he knows in that book. The problem is that it gets very hard to divide Wick's design work from his personal life because he lets the two blur and puts a lot of himself into his work. He strikes me as an author badly in need of an editor, and never willing to put up with one, so... what we get is what we get. Sometimes he can be really innovative and cool, and sometimes he can be really regressive and pompous. Unfortunately, the latter tends to stand out more in reviews like these.

Also, I've gotten to see the man have a huge shouting tantrum in front of me. I don't wish ill on him, and that doesn't necessarily make him a huge manchild or a bad person, but he has done some questionable stuff that's on the public record and people are free to draw their own conclusions.


This kind of predates Fatal and Friends as a lot of talk about John Wick being a horrible person used to occur back in grognards.txt. Its kind of hilarious too because apparently the discussion that happened in that thread apparently involved stuff in Play Dirty. And man if he is like anything like how he presents himself in Play Dirty a huge manchild is the only thing you can get out of that.
EDIT:
And you're right too a lot of his ideas aren't bad but you have to strip the smug assholish nature from them before you can even begin to use them.

MadScientistWorking fucked around with this message at 16:08 on Nov 3, 2013

AccidentalHipster
Jul 5, 2013

Whadda ya MEAN ya never heard of Dan Brereton?


Despite my open hatred of The Wick, I actually used to hold him with a measure of awe. I loved the Scorpion clan so much, I heard so much good about Ven, and Blood & Honor was so fresh and well put together to me that I actually thought that his only flaw was his tone of writing. Then I bought Eldritch High and I saw the game fall apart at the seams before I even got through character creation. After that, I started wondering how things could have gone so wrong. I started reading his more controversial work and his essays on game design and very quickly those i spent on Eldritch High felt more and more galling. At this point, I think John-boy might be his own worst enemy.

Cyphoderus
Apr 21, 2010

I'll have you know, foxes have the finest call in nature


Have you always felt your combat-heavy RPGs lacked in the realm of narrative mechanics?
Are you a swine who enjoys storygames, but think they lack that little something in terms of combat?
Have you ever wanted to earn XP as a Game Master?
Are you secretly still 13 inside (we all are) and crave nothing more than pretending to be a high-schooler who spends the day being awkward around girls and the nights beating up giant monsters with lasers?
Or do you really want to play a sentient idea who can throw cars around?

Boy, have I got a game for you.



Wait, what?



...oh!

What is this?

Double Cross (from now on, DX) is a Japanese RPG that has been described as a "character-based conspiracy superhero RPG". That's a mouthful, so let's break it down.
Superhero: in DX, you play someone who has been infected by a virus that gives you superhuman abilities. These include skills that range from shooting lasers to creating autonomous servants out of your blood to turning every car you enter into an instant transformer. The central conflict here is that the more you use your powers, the more they use you. Abuse your monstrous skills, and you become a monster yourself.
Conspiracy: You work for the good guys, who want the best for the world. You fight the bad guys, who want to ruin society and mankind. Everyone is exactly who they seem to be. The problem is that none of these sentences are true!
Character-based: Your character has relationships with the other characters and with NPCs. Your relationships dictate your position in the web of factions, people, and their conflicting interests. Your relationships are where you turn to when you find yourself slowly becoming more like the monsters you face in battle. Your relationships are always changing, and as they change, so do you.

What can I expect from this game?

Fluff-wise, you'll get a setting that has got high-schoolers and adults with super abilities, secret organisations that fight for the good of the world, mysterious otherworldly foes, betrayals and uneasy alliances. The powers employed by the characters are X-Men-like mutant abilities, only on average they're more... gross. Remember the Prototype videogame series? Like that. Imagine what would Persona 3 be like if it was not inspired by Jung but by Darwin, and you've got a decent picture of DX.

Mechanics-wise, think Tenra Bansho Zero meets 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons. From the former, you get mechanically enforced narrative flow of quick-paced play with strategic scene framing and rapid character change. From the latter, you get a "class system" and a granular "powers system" that drive combat. There's plenty of mechanics and ideas that are innovative on their own as well, at least compared to Western games. The aforementioned GM earning XP points is one of them, for instance.

The book also offers a default setting: Japan and the personalities associated with it, as well as City N, a generic Japanese city where the action of the included sample adventures take place. Yep, in a refreshing change of pace, you get three entire sample adventures in the core book. The first is intended as the regular introduction to the game for new players, while the following two are direct sequels to the same story.

Tell me more about the book itself.

DX is a game by F.E.A.R., noted Japanese RPG designers. The translated version is currently sold through Amazon, and it is unfortunately only available as a physical copy. Apparently, the game is very beloved in Japan.

About the translation: it is solid. There is, however, not much localisation. The sentences are also written in a not very natural way. In other words, it is very much a translated work. The setting and adventures chapters make no effort to ease the player and GM into a Japanese mindset: they just assume you're playing in Japan and that's it. The factions and NPCs presented are Japanese. This is an issue only because a certain step of character creation has you forming relationships to established NPCs. Thus, creating characters exactly as written means you play in Japan. This is a very, very minor inconvenience if you want to set your game someplace else: just re-fit the existing NPCs or make up your own. Very few classic Japanese tropes pop up in the setting. The most obvious of which is half the sample NPCs being underaged geniuses. None of the Japan-ness of the work detracts from it. Personally, I think it adds to its charm.

As for content itself, the book contains quite a few errors, especially in the powers descriptions. Missing values, properties that make no sense or repeated descriptions for different powers. The most absurd error is in the sample characters, which are essential to one character creation method. The first character has the powers of the second, and every single one of them has the stats of the first. It's ugly. There is, however, a comprehensive errata booklet that comes with the book. The booklet corrects every error that I know of in the main book. So everything's alright, and I can only think the marathon of mistakes was due to a tight printing deadline or something.

DX has something like a thousand supplements over in Japan. The translated version of DX uses the same model as Tenra Bansho Zero: the "core rulebook" we got is actually made up from the original core rulebook and various supplements, including rules updates. So Japan has many supplements but we've got, as far as I know, a lot of the content packaged into our book. We also got right away the 3rd edition of DX: it is apparently a simplification and consolidation of the hugely popular second edition that got bloated with power creep and an excess of choices.

I believe this is it for an introduction. Next time, we'll dive straight in. The first chapter is a summary of the basics of the setting. It tells you all you need to know to fill the gaps with your imagination.

So please, join me next time as we start the read-through of Double-Cross: The Roleplaying Game!

The thing about the sentient idea, by the way? Not kidding about that.

Cyphoderus fucked around with this message at 01:00 on Nov 4, 2013

Traveller
Jan 6, 2012

WHIM AND FOPPERY



Houses Of The Blooded

The end run, and some thoughts

The final part of this book is the Narrator chapter, about as long as the crunch-heavy Seasons section. Wick opens by warning players to stay away:

quote:

And trust me, learning how a trick works is a lot less sexy than watching the trick as a sucker sitting in the audience.

The GM's job is to make players believe that the ven existed, so he (the Narrator is always a he in this book) is kind of a magician. The ven actually had a name for this, altrua, pathos. Which, for some reason, is the same name as that ectoplasm-like substance that cocoons Suaven. Coincidence? Oblique reference? Lack of an editor? You be the judge! So yeah, don't read this chapter if you're a player, but read it if you're the GM. It has all sorts of tricks, including one for that one player that will read through this section anyway.

First Wick opens with some basic advice, basic in the sense that you could apply it to any game. The "Big Secret" is that players will make up the plot if you let them, and part of the design of HOTB was precisely to let them do that. So pay attention to the group, ask them what you think is going on, and so on. Communication! Let the players use Wisdom risks and define Shanri: this is why the game has no map of it. Even though gamers love maps. He also plugs his original Play Dirty column from SJG's Pyramid magazine.

quote:

Play Dirty was, all at once, one of the most popular and least popular columns in the mag. People hated it and loved it. I figured that meant I was doing my job.

He insists on the idea of letting the players run the game for you, and shows off his Three True Things technique: Wick tells the player three true things about an NPC/location/whatever, then lets the player fill up the details so that Wick can run along with it. He knows the concept of blurring the line between Player and Narrator is alien to most gamers, but nuke it all the same! And remember that now you have to adapt and not be stiff with the plot. He talks about mood and atmosphere, which should be old hat to anyone familiar with the original L5R corebook: show, don't tell, use props, move around, act out the actions of NPCs, and so on.

Then he talks about the one time players completely blindsided him. The players were at the capital between Senate sessions when one "remembers" that there are catacombs under the Temple of Talia and wants to check them out. Wick is nice and lets the player have a Wisdom risk. He does it, comes up with a few details, and before Wick can react the party is armed, bearing torches and kicking down a secret entrance. So Wick does what everyone does, panics, and goes into the bathroom to figure out what to do.

quote:

The blowhard who wanted to come down here was the Serpent. He wanted to find lost scrolls, rituals, knowledge. He used that drat charisma of his to convince the other players this was a great idea. Okay. This is his fault. I’ll punish him. But I’ll also give him what he wants.

So what does he do? Obviously he turns into The Wick and springs the Tomb of Horrors on the players, right? Or he has Serpent ninjas waiting to kill the entire party, or Shara Yvarai shows up at the end and cuts off all their pinkies, right? Well, actually, he doesn't. He considers the character's strengths and weaknesses and sets up encounters that engage them all. The comedy relief guy with the Courage weakness ends up with a literal silver eye as he's split from the party while fleeing the catacomb orks. The two characters with an one-sided love between them end up with a chance to save each other from harm. The two fighty guys get a puzzle fight holding off orks at a bridge LOTR-style while some of their fellows try to pepper them with arrows. The Serpent spots an ork executing a blood ritual (!). Everyone has fun, not bad for a five minute bathroom break.

Wick then talks about Style. He brings up 7th Sea Drama Dice and, yes, in his games he gave them out like candy, a dozen or so per session. Style should also be given out like candy, at least ten points per session if not more. Let the players talk, let them make up the world, let them get themselves into trouble. Give them Style!

quote:

This game was designed with the noble class in mind. Playing a kind of character you really can’t play in that other fantasy roleplaying game that shall remain nameless but who’s initials are “D” and “D.”

I don't know what Wick's beef with Drakar och Demoner is but anyway, he mentions some suggestions if you want to play a non-noble HOTB game. The Midnight Game is essentially Rosencrantz and Guildensten Are Dead: The RPG, with players taking on the role of their own maids and valets. It's meant as a fun distraction between noble ssessions, with the maids and valets getting into all sorts of backstage shenanigans. If players are particularly good, let them elevate their vassals to NPC status. And then there's the Roadman game, which is all about playing kickass ven knights, solving troubles and stabbing orks. A variant of this is the Ytavia game: ytavia are "the lady's roadmen", and this type of game is all about being the guardian of your lord's wife and all the ~*drama*~ that comes with it. There is some advice on what to do with the Style given to players to NPCs they like/hate/like to hate, which was already covered in the Players chapter.

And then there is the sample adventure, Roses & Thorns. The signature character of the game, Shara Yvarai, is the centerpiece of the action. But don't worry: again, she's no Kachiko coming here to steal away the spotlight and get away with it willy nilly. This is the adventure Wick uses for demoing HOTB at conventions. Anyway, Shara is basically a hothead Fox, beautiful and deadly with a sword, but a little too ready to hurt people and lacking the Wisdom to fully realize the consequences of her actions. The PC's Count/Countess wants her to sign a Contract of servitude, and they get the mission to go to one of Shara's parties at her puzzle house to convince her. The thing is, other than Shara's sheet, descriptions of the other NPCs they may find, a very rough story outline and the Puzzle House's stats, that's the entire adventure. The real trick is that all players, before starting, roll a Wisdom risk. Then, they use their wagers to define the circumstances of the story about to play out. Wick says that he's ended up with wildly different scenarios out of this: one group decided that their Countess was blind and that Shara was the one to blind her, so they couldn't decide on whether they should win her favor or kill her in revenge. Another group defined their Countess as a sorceress of terrible reputation that wanted Shara under her yoke or dead. And yet another group had their Count in a very complicated family tree involving Shara and the PCs, and he was in love with the young baroness and wanted to marry her. On one hand, this is seriously loving cool: the same basic idea, very different outcomes, and the players are invested from the get go. But tying it to the risk mechanic means that one player will inevitably get to define more of the adventure than the others, and woe betide anyone with Wisdom as a weakness (Wick suggests giving those players a free wager if he's feeling merciful, but mercy is for the weak )

So on to the various doomed highborn manchildren at this party! There is Shara, of course, armed with a new sword at her hip, very bold and flirts with everyone, but she's really careful about it. Her main goal at the party is making Contacts so that she can protect her father's lands. The appearance of Valin Burghe disturbs her. Also.

posted:

Her dress is … well, it’s amazing the drat thing stays on.

The others:

  • Baron Valin Burghe of the Bear recently returned to public life under mysterious circumstances. They involve the orichalcum sword he's wearing. He seems uncomfortable at the party and is only there to meet with the only friend he knows, Shara. He's followed everywhere by a mysterious, shadowy "doctor" that leads him through most social traps.
  • Lady Peacock is a Fox Duchess that knows everyone's secrets. She's a stereotypical Dowager Duchess. She could be a huge pain in the rear end for "little" nobles, or of great help: she is devoted to those who treat her with respect.
  • Lady No is a "poison teddy bear" Elk with three dead husbands under mysterious circumstances. Currently looking for a fourth. Starting a Romance with her could be the last thing you do (Wick would!)
  • Count Kether is honest, loyal, honorable, and an utter rear end in a top hat. He will do whatever it takes to extend his lands, but he will never break a promise. Ever. Currently in a "special" relationship with the Lady No and friends with Duke Dannin.
  • Dannin Steele is an elderly Elk duke that used to be the most popular ven in the Senate until he came around with claims of organized orks. He says his roadmen even found evidence of an ork village! Purely nonsense, obviously, and as such his stock has fallen hard in social circles. Maybe he is getting into years and madness is getting to him, or maybe he is right.
  • Lady S of the Falcon is a no-nonsense ven that raises vassals from unblooded she can trust and doesn't give much of a poo poo about secrets, manners and all that highborn manchild crap. She is Courageous and skilled in battle and she would shed blood for a friend, but of course, she doesn't have many friends in ven circles.
  • Shara's Seneschal is not a noble, but still. He's an amazingly creepy guy, tall and gaunt, and no one knows his name (almost no one). It's as if he were part of the puzzle house.
  • Similarly to Lady S, Baron Xanos is almost a cliché of a Falcon. A rude, uncouth ranger guy that looks as if he slept in his clothes and has no patience for ven games. He actually went native with the orks and knows many secrets, including their language. He is at the party only because he suspects his Count was murdered and his lord's wife was responsible, but he has no evidence. He could trade his secrets for such.
  • Finally, Baroness Niassa of the Elk is a good friend of Lady Peacock and never without her shy, petite maid Alyss. She's infatuated with Duke Dannin and would do anything for him, even betray him. Alyss is actually a Blooded and Niassa's spymaster, and she has Devotion for Ikhalu, one of the forbidden Suaven. Spooky!

Some suggestions for plots during the party: a tulpa of one of the ven (pick someone the PCs are fond of) is found dead in the halls. The Ikhalu cult is at the party to murder someone. A group of Serpents took Shara's invitation, but they're here with the goal of taking over the house. There's a spectre roaming the house's halls. Shara holds a Hunt as an excuse to clear orks from her Forest. Wick's idea is that players will build up most of the plot for you, so no need to determine why the tulpa was there, or who the Ikhalu cult want murdered ahead of time. Then there's some assorted adventure ideas, which are pretty stealable for other games, I figure. Except for the one where the female lover of some guy the PC is about to duel begs the PC to throw the duel, and she'll humiliate herself and do anything at all to make up for it. Goddammit, Wick.

Orks! Remember, all monsters in Shanri are orks. First, the Terror rules. All orks cause Terror, it depends on how mind-shattering they can be. An average ork is Terror 3-5. When ven find an ork, they roll their Courage + bonuses against the ork's Terror. It works like regular Courage risks, beat it or pay Style to act against the ork. It's sort of supernatural, so you can have an undead squirrel with Terror 6 if you want (Corpse ritual!). Orks also have ranks for their rolls, so a rank 3 Ork rolls three dice for roll when doing orky things. Orks have Traits, which are free Aspects that distinguish them from each other. Some of these aspects are Weapon aspects, giving them extra attacks for Weapon trait they have. How are the Traits balanced, you ask?

quote:

A Note on “Game Balance”
Game balance rests on the Narrator and the players using good judgment and common sense. Throwing seventeen Terror 10 orks against three ven with no Prowess or Strength is not only stupid, but irresponsible. Giving orks some kind of arbitrary value—oh, something like a “danger rating” or “challenge threshold” is just silly. An ork is as deadly as the game master makes him. If the ork is stupid, the ven have an advantage. If the ork is smart, the ven have a disadvantage.
Wait a second. Smart orks?
Nonsense.



  • Additional Arm: ork may make an additional attack, dividing its attention between multiple opponents. Can stack.
  • A Thousand Eyes: bonus dice for Cunning risks, can be tagged to blind the ork with bright lights.
  • Blind Spot: can be tagged to gain two bonus dice against the ork or compelled to make the ork focus on one opponent because it can't see others, that sort of thing (Wisdom or Cunning risk to figure it out)
  • Burning: if the ork hits, the Injury increases in rank every time the ven takes a risk. Burning ceases when the ork dies.
  • Burrowing: ork can remove itself from danger by burying itself into the ground (Strength risk). Not a free Aspect.
  • Camouflage: can be invoked under the right circumstances for hiding. Amusingly, it lists the invoke as 3 bonus dice for hiding, then two lines later it says it gives two bonus dice.
  • Claws: THE CLAW Counts as weapon, so extra attacks. But can be compelled as the creature has difficulty picking up items
  • Cowardly: the ork is cowardly!
  • Fangs: THE FANG Counts as weapon.
  • Fat: Ork is fat, can be tagged when the ork's size proves a disadvantage and compelled to prevent the ork from running/climbing/etc.
  • Fire: Roll the ork's rank + ten loving dice of Fire against the ven's Strength and whatever dice they can come up with to shelter themselves from the fire. Ork must spend one Style for each additional character it wants to affect.

    quote:

    Merciful game masters may want to reduce the number of dice this Aspect gets. If you qualify, get yourself a new pink t-shirt and paint “WIMP” on it.
  • Gas: like Fire, but the ven fall asleep.
  • Glare: like Fire, but against Courage. If the ork wins, the ven is Hypnotized. The ven cannot ignore its compel (the ork spends a Style to force them to perform any action) with a Style of their own, but must make a successful Courage roll against the original.
  • Hooves: +5 dice for movement-based risks, taggable for 2 dice in slippery/rocky terrain.
  • Hibernation: ork hibernates for one Season, +2 dice when fighting it during their sleepy Season.
  • Insubstantial: ork can become insubstantial and cannot harm or be harmed by ven. Orichalcum weapons are still good.
  • Intuition: +3 dice for surprise risks.
  • Ink: ork shoots ink. Ork rank + 10 dice against Cunning, if the ork wins the ven is blinded by a number of beats equal to the ork's rank and cannot roll any risk that requires sight (like defending )
  • Invisibility: ork can become invisible, Cunning against ork rank + 10 dice to spot it.
  • Iron Stomach: ork can eat anything.
  • Lays Eggs: ork gets bonus dice to defend its eggs, can be tagged or compelled by threatening its eggs.
  • Muscle: can use Grapples.
  • Nocturnal: no penalties for darkness related Aspects, can be tagged with bright lights, or compelled to make it flee flashes or other light sources.
  • Quadruped: +3 dice for outrunning other orks or ven, stacks with Hooves.
  • Quickness: bonus dice for any speed-related risks, can be compelled to make the ork act too hastily.
  • Regeneration: ork can roll its rank + 3 dice, heals one rank of Injury + wagers. Most orks can't regenerate wounds caused by fire or orichalcum.
  • Rhino Hide: any Injury inflicted on the ork loses one rank. Can be stacked.
  • Roar: ork rank + 5 dice against a ven's Courage, if successful the ven is stunned for one beat + wagers.
  • Small: can be invoked or tagged for any situation where small size benefits/harms the ork.
  • Smell: +3 dice for smell-related risks, can be tagged if the ven knows how to lose their scent or compelled with powerful smells.
  • Spines: counts as weapon.
  • Swarm: ork is a swarm of orks. Each wager it spends on Mass Murder causes a rank 1 Injury on every ven and ork in an opposing side.
  • Tentacles: ork may spend two Prowess wagers in a row.
  • Tools: ork can use spears or shields. No ven would ever believe this bullshit.
  • Tongue: the ork can speak a crude form of the Old Tongue. Even more ridiculous.
  • Venom: the ork has a poison from the Poisons chapter.
  • Wings: ork flies. +5 dice for any attack made by the ork while flying, +5 to any kind of defensive risk.

Yeaaaaaaaaaah.

And now, Fashuva! Wick has (gasp!) lied to the players, but we GMs know better. These are the forbidden Suaven! Their blessings are not balanced! Beware!

Ikhalu is the Suaven of Revenge. He was one of two brothers that sought to lead the first free ven. They chose his brother, and he warred against the ven before being cast out along with his followers. Worshipping Ikhalu is forbidden by Law on pain of death and there are no loopholes to get around it, but at the same time the Senate recognizes that if Ikhalu has blessed a Revenge then truly nothing may stand in that ven's path. Ikhalu's cult is secret, but still exists, and its main goal is to "steal the sorcery" from other ven's Blood to raise the Lord of Murder from Solace. Every cultists owns a ritual dagger to do this. Ikhalu has a number of blessings as the cultist grows in Devotion, 1 to 5:

  • The Deepest Cut: spend a Style when injuring another ven. That Injury takes a full Year to heal a single rank.
  • The Stolen Mask: cut a victim's face and put it over you, then this Blessing steals both the victim's face and demeanor. Others see the cultist as if they were the victim. The deception works until the cultist removes the mask or until dawn.
  • The Taba: a holy knife granted only to the most trusted cultists, it cannot be found if they hid them on their person.
  • Ikhalu's Wounds: catch an opponent by surprise, then roll a Prowess risk with six wagers to instantly murder that opponent. Cannot use this Blessing and the next one together.
  • Avali: Ikhalu cultists believe in souls. Surprise a ven, make a Prowess risk with five wagers to pierce the ven's heart and steal their soul. The knife gains a bonus dice per successful soul stealing up to the cultist's Devotion.

Jaymen Steele was the Mad Emperor. In canon, his body was burned in an Elk forge and his ashes scattered... but what if his body was smuggled out by faithful followers? What if he survived all the way to Solace? A guy as ambitious and Cunning as him should've had an escape plan after all. He gives standard Elk blessings, but his first Blessing is always Ambition: for every rank in Devotion you gain one bonus die to use in any risk you want during the game session, as long as that risk directly leads to expanding your own personal power. He never gave away anything for free, and so calling on Ambition means he will demand something in return. The betrayal of a friend, the surrender of a Region to an enemy, etc. If you don't comply, you lose two ranks of Devotion, and if it ever drops below zero you can never worship Jaymen Steele again.

Shub-NiggurathMahl is the Mother of All Monsters. She snatches up homeless children in nights without moon and turns them into orks and spectres. Mahl cultists do capture wayward children and force them into hideous rituals involving "mother's milk", a combination of blood and breast milk . Cultists can summon orks with as many Traits as Devotion they have. They can summon a number of orks per day equal to their Devotion, spending one Style for each ork.

Afhil (or Ahvril, the game can't seem to make up its mind), the Grinning Man, is the lord of pain and torture. Its cultists ritually scar and torture themselves, and others too, for pain is the path to strength. Its cultists seem completely impervious to most injuries and it can strike down enemies of its followers with wracking pains, but there are not rules for that. The blessings that do have rules:

  • The Darkest Fear: the cultist spends a Style, and any ven that look upon them lose dice for their next risk equivalent to the cultist's Devotion. Yes, this deliberately and explicitly goes against rules because that's how Afhil rolls. If the ven ends with no dice, they can't take any action.
  • The Malice Hammer: target ven gains the "I Know Your Pain" free aspect, that can be tagged and compelled by any member of Afhil's cult. Cultists get bonus dice equal to their Devotion when tagging. Compel forces the ven to lose an opportunity for risk.
  • The Sweetest Sting: cultist can spend Style to tag their own Injuries for bonus dice. They don't get Style from others tagging their Injuries.
  • The Mask of Ahvril: needs one Metals Resource to Craft a black mask that latches on to a prisoner's face. They are paralyzed and cannot lie wearing the mask unless they spend as many Style points as the mask's rank.
  • Da'fhil: a ritual death by torture that lasts years and traps the poor sod's soul in the corpse's rune-carved skin. This makes a creature known as a Da'fhil, a Child of Pain, suffering such agony that it can only lash out at others. It only has one stat, Pain, equivalent to the Devotion of the cultist that made it + the Years it took the victim to die. Pain is used for all rolls. It cannot make Wisdom or Cunning risks but autosucceeds at any Courage risk. It can only die by being dismembered (five Rank 5 Injuries to remove all limbs and the head) or by fire.

Spectres! Not specters. Spectres. They can be ghosts, echoes of the sorcerer kings, intangible orks, or Shanri's own will. This is what ven scholarship has taught us: Wick likes the latter option the best, but roll with whatever you like as long as spectres are spooky. All spectres are intangible, and they can possess a ven (with their explicit permission). This makes the ven look freaky as gently caress and gives them ten dice for all rolls, and any Injuries heal one rank per beat. The only way a spectre will leave a ven's body is by killing the body, but this does not get rid of the spectre. Orichalcum items seem to repel a spectre, sending it packing. Maybe orichalcum weapons can harm it, but Wick disagrees. If you do agree, though, the spectre rolls ten dice and you have to deal a Rank 10 Injury to bust the fucker.

Then Wick goes into his Play Dirty screed, which I already wrote about during Blood and Honor. Search for the bit with CRITICAL WICK in it. It's basically repeating most of what he's already said (make the players spend Style, get them in trouble, let them get themselves into trouble, let them come up with characters and plots, etc.). Wick closes with a paragraph asking you to change things as you seem fit. No game can be made fun for everyone, and that's alright.

So, here it is, the end of Houses of the Blooded. And like during the Blood and Honor review, I ask: is it a bad game? I have to say that it is less mechanically sound than B&H, because of the increased complexity mixed with the book's seriously shoddy editing. But... well.

I actually started feeling somewhat uncomfortable doing this writeup because, as I detailed each chapter, I started feeling like I was peering into John Wick's own head. The world of the ven is a world deliberately built to support and encourage all the elements Wick finds cool about gaming, the drama and tension and the loving up and growing hard in a world of poo poo, stuff that's been all over his work from his L5R and 7th Sea days, but I dare to say that no game he's ever worked on is as Wick as this. Yes, I think Wick does see the world in a ven-like way (see that bit on "ven hypocrisy"), that he does have this dog-eat-dog cynical world perspective in real life. But at the same time, that bit with the dungeon crawl shows that, while The Wick is definitely in charge of the writing in HOTB, when he's running most of the time he's John, the game designer buddy that is kind of intense and challenging but honestly wants you to have fun in his games. Under that light, Wick's players are not just slavering masochist sycophants, even though that line where he says Jess Heinig praised his games as "John Wick's Social Meat Grinder" made me wonder...

At the end of the day I think that Doomed Murderous Highborn Manchildren can potentially be a fun game, if cleaned up - hey, look at all the L5R PbP games right in this forum for starters. But, again, the Wickness conspires to make the game nigh-unreadable. It doesn't have the mechanical solidity to be the Fantasy Diplomacy RPG Wick would like it to be. The ven are, honestly, horrible loving people, and the conceit that they're these non-human people with non-human reactions and, furthermore, that the game emulates fictional literature about this fictional civilization becomes this grating weight as you read through HOTB, this lovely feeling that John Wick was all "I'LL SHOW THEM" after hearing one too many criticisms about samurai or swashbucklers or whatever simply not working like he wrote about in previous games.

I left a fair few things to the side, like that ~*delightful*~ bit in the Mass Murder rules where he claims feudal Japanese discarded technological advancements in warfare for being vulgar and unsubtle. Or all the roses you could give another ven and their meaning. Or how there are absolutely no record of ven wearing armor at all, except that one of their saint patrons is always depicted wearing a shiny set of it. Or... you get the idea. This is John Wick: The RPG. And as such, it's 5 out of 5.

In conclusion:

quote:

An aphorism I learned while writing Legend of the Five Rings: “Japanese fix the problem; Americans fix the blame.”

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine


Someone should do Cat, I think. It is certainly a surprising read for people who've pegged Wick as the smug liar who thirsts for the death of PCs.

Angrymog
Jan 29, 2012

Really Madcats



Mr. Maltose posted:

Someone should do Cat, I think. It is certainly a surprising read for people who've pegged Wick as the smug liar who thirsts for the death of PCs.

I was actually thinking about Cat, I have both the original and the new PWYW version, which I haven't read yet. Though I'm not staking my claim on either.

Fossilized Rappy
Dec 26, 2012




Introduction: The Settling of America Northern Crown
In the world of Northern Crown, the eponymous continent has become a key part of the rush of colonialism, with all sorts of European Uropan nations such as England Albion, Spain Espania, and France France all vying for territory in this new world. These colonies are rife with tension both from outside forces and each other, including rising paranoia in New England The Holy Commonwealth over the witch-owned town of Salem Naumkeag, disputes with the native people of Northern Crown, the marauding exploits of the buccaneers of the Bahamas Bahamias, and nighttime assaults by monsters in the dark such as the feared headless riders and loathsome haints.


That's right, we're knee-deep in the territory of alternate history with funky naming schemes that are not universally applied one way or the other. It's a D&D title published by Atlas Games and written by Douglas Anderson, who as far as I know never wrote for any other settings and is definitely someone we can call...

Douglas Anderson posted:

Guns should be slow and cumbersome to use -- this is a game of derring-do and heroic action, not gun-fu.

...a man with a specific opinion and vision for his setting.


Northern Crown also happens to share something in common with the last alt-history RPG I did, Broncosaurus Rex, in that it was an ambitious project that never had many of its corners truly explored. The author had plans for a Boston sourcebook, the mysterious and mostly undiscovered western Northern Crown, a guide to Uropa, and an Aztec empire still standing thanks to the magic of its gods, but all that ever surfaced other than the two core campaign books were two minor supplementals and a three-page article on Aaron Asaph Burr's evil kingdom of Vandalia.


So, to start out early on a celebration of the month of Thanksgiving, we'll be delving into both Northern Crown: New World Adventures and Northern Crown: the Gazetteer. Prepare for magic, mad science, weird names, and questionable timeframes.

Fossilized Rappy fucked around with this message at 14:51 on Nov 4, 2013

Angrymog
Jan 29, 2012

Really Madcats



Fossilized Rappy posted:



Introduction: The Settling of America Northern Crown
In the world of Northern Crown, the eponymous continent has become a key part of the rush of colonialism, with all sorts of European Uropan nations such as England Albion, Spain Espania, and France France

I'm suprised that no-one ever uses Gaul as their name for not France. Worried about Asterix and Obelix jokes? Pre-empt it, make your sample characters be Asterix and Obelix.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




Thanks for doing Shatterzone, by the way. Years ago, I was into WEG's Masterbook stuff, and I always wanted to check it out but never had the time or a group that wanted to do sci-fi.

Bitchtits McGee
Jul 1, 2011


Cyphoderus posted:

DX has something like a thousand supplements over in Japan.

Actually, only eleven of the books offered on the site are supplements. There's also three volumes of the official novel, and the other 28 are official replay books -- transcribed campaign sessions. Paying money to read about a bunch of strangers playing make-believe is a Very Big Thing in the JTRPG world for some drat reason.

(Oh, and )

Cyphoderus
Apr 21, 2010

I'll have you know, foxes have the finest call in nature



DOUBLE CROSS

Part I - Introduction

DX starts out with the classical introductory chapter: we get to know what RPGs are, what you need to play, and the role of the players and GM. No specific mechanics are mentioned, but we learn that the game uses pools of d10s for its rolls. Also, there's something called Roll or Choose: you have a random table that you can either roll on or just pick whatever option you want. Or you can roll and ignore your result and just pick an option anyway. There are some options, like a result of 101 on a 1d100 table, that you can't roll. You either pick them voluntarily or they don't come into play. I'm told RoC is a common thing in Japanese games. I like it, even though it's a formalisation of something we've all been doing for years anyway. When common sense things are explicitly spelled out, "that guy" has fewer things to complain about.

DX treats the GM in a way that's not exactly adversarial, but... traditional. The "golden rules", as the game puts them, consist of the following: the GM always has the final word; the GM can do anything without needing to roll; if the GM makes a mistake in a ruling, the mistake must be corrected immediately, but if there's already been an effect because of it the game doesn't reset and what's been done stays that way.

Like all RPGs with an introductory chapter to RPGs, DX makes it clear that there are no winners or losers in a game. However, it does define "victory": it's when, at the end of the session, the players accumulated a lot of experience points. When there's a lot of XP, it means the game has been played in the intended way, the way that is designed to be the most fun for everyone involved. This seems obvious but it really isn't, as there are lots of games in which XP gain doesn't directly imply the fun way to play the game. All the ones that treat "action points" and XP as one single resource, for instance. DX doesn't do that.

The best part about experience in DX is that it's rewarded to the players, not the characters. Including the GM. Think about it: all the problems you've ever had with rotating GMs and changing characters each session? Gone. We'll get to how that works later, I'm just mentioning it now to tease you guys.

At this point we get to talk fluff.



The Setting of the Game

First, picture a virus. Real-world viruses have derpy names, like human papilloma virus or foamy virus. This one has a cool name. It's the Renegade virus. It works, honestly, a lot like herpes. First, most of the human population carries the thing; about 80% of everyone you know. Second, in most people the virus is dormant. It sits there quietly without showing itself and without you even knowing you're infected. Third, if you go through a particular stress, the virus can awaken. Something drastic happens in your life, and you start seeing the symptoms of the infection.

However, while herpes leaves you with a slightly embarassing oral outburst, the Renegade does one of two things: it either kills you outright, which is the boring option, or it rewrites your DNA and gives you superpowers and superhuman abilities. The people carrying an awakened Renegade and who show such powers are called Overeds.

Overeds exhibit a variety of powers. Some can stretch or compress their bodies, some can plug their brains into surveillance systems, some can turn into a vizzerdrix, some can talk to trees. Scholars categorize the superhuman skills granted by the Renegade in twelve broad groups, which they call Syndromes. An Overed tends to express one or two syndromes, and recently there has been a wave of Overeds who can express three.

Not everything is flowers for the Overeds. Power comes at a cost. The more you abuse the virus, the more the virus abuses you. The Renegade seems to have a mind of its own and encroaches slowly on yours. You use your skills and powers too much, and gradually you become less yourself and more... something else. Until the point where you snap. You surrender yourself completely to the virus and become what is known as a Gjaum. The Renegade takes complete control and your body gets warped into a monstrous form as your mind crumbles under the pressure of the virus.

Worst yet are the cases where you don't become a monster. Superficially, everything is fine – but inside your mind has been shattered in little pieces, or it's been taken over by something else, whatever a virus can have that passes for consciousness. Or you become wrong version of yourself.

The fear of becoming a Gjaum is what keeps Overeds in line.

Now here's the problem: you can't just tell people about this stuff. The Renegade appeared around 20 years ago, and its existence is still a highly confidential secret. Imagine if it became known that 80% of mankind has in themselves something that either kills or creates superpowered monsters. The chaos that would ensue!

There are people who know, of course. The Overeds themselves, for once. And someone has to do research on the Renegade. Someone has to provide help and comfort for Overeds who awakened recently and have no idea what's going on. Most important of all, someone has to make sure the information about the Renegade is managed correctly and doesn't become public until the time is right. Enter the Universal Guardian Network, or the UGN for short. It is a global organisation, extremely wealthy and extremely well-connected.

Now there's people who don't think the Renegade should be kept a secret at all. There's people who think Overeds are better than humans, and should take control. There are even those who think becoming a Gjaum isn't that bad after all. There are Gjaums who want the freedom to follow their impulses and desires without anyone getting in the drat way. Enter the False Hearts. Classified as a "terrorist organisation" by the UGN, the False Hearts have no central leadership. It consists of many independent cells, each working to further its own objectives.

The UGN has teams of field agents: Overeds who are out there, thwarting the plans of the False Hearts, and usually having to directly confront the terrorists' powers with their own. The only way to stop an Overed is another Overed.

When you play Double Cross, you'll probably play an Overed employed by the UGN, fighting against False Hearts agents.

There's way more to the setting, including what I consider the best parts. They aren't introduced in this first chapter, however, so we shall not do so as well. Next time we'll delve straight into character creation.

Next time: Are you better at riding a bike or breathing fire?

JohnOfOrdo3
Nov 7, 2011

My other car is an asteroid


Cyphoderus posted:


DOUBLE CROSS

drat I'm loving the sound of this so far. It's really catching hold of my imagination. I look forward to hearing more about this system.

Lemon-Lime
Aug 6, 2009


So Prototype steals its whole setup from a Japanese RPG? Cute.

Parkreiner
Oct 29, 2011


Double Cross is laid out incredibly poorly for a first read, yeah. It could have used a better editing pass in general, but I will give them mad props for working hard on that index, referencing the 500-odd powers would be impossible otherwise. It looks like a pretty cool game, but I haven't gotten around to running it yet because I burned out halfway through transcribing all the errataed powers and stuff to make a cheat sheet for my group. I did actually finish a fairly lengthy intro to the Syndromes if you want me to pinch-hit when you get to the powers section.

Siivola
Dec 23, 2012



Cyphoderus posted:

Think about it: all the problems you've ever had with rotating GMs and changing characters each session? Gone. We'll get to how that works later, I'm just mentioning it now to tease you guys.
You're a monster, you know that? I hope you'll get to this part soon.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


I want to play or run Double Cross so bad. It's hard to tell how well the rules hold up just on a read-through, so playtesting would be essential. The main issue with it is that it's not in digital, and you essentially have to have a copy of it as a player. Imagine trying to play Exalted or Dungeons & Dragons 4e without digital support and you get the idea. It's a game badly in need of Power Cards or the like to track all the myriad powers players can pick up.

Drakyn
Dec 26, 2012



Fossilized Rappy posted:

Introduction: The Settling of America Northern Crown
In the world of Northern Crown, the eponymous continent has become a key part of the rush of colonialism, with all sorts of European Uropan nations such as England Albion, Spain Espania, and France France all vying for territory in this new world. These colonies are rife with tension both from outside forces and each other, including rising paranoia in New England The Holy Commonwealth over the witch-owned town of Salem Naumkeag, disputes with the native people of Northern Crown, the marauding exploits of the buccaneers of the Bahamas Bahamias, and nighttime assaults by monsters in the dark such as the feared headless riders and loathsome haints.
...Northern Crown also happens to share something in common with the last alt-history RPG I did, Broncosaurus Rex, in that it was an ambitious project that never had many of its corners truly explored.
Is it also going to be similar in that it'll be filled to the brim with creepy historical apologia, or will it be running with white wolf style totally hapless 'noble savages' instead? I'd ask if it treats the subject matter tastefully, but this IS an RPG.

Humbug Scoolbus
Apr 25, 2008

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


Clapping Larry

I just ordered a copy of DX just on the concept/intro post you did. I will be using your posts to decipher the errata and concepts.

Count Chocula
Dec 25, 2011

WE HAVE TO CONTROL OUR ENVIRONMENT
IF YOU SEE ME POSTING OUTSIDE OF THE AUSPOL THREAD PLEASE TELL ME THAT I'M MISSED AND TO START POSTING AGAIN


Lemon Curdistan posted:

So Prototype steals its whole setup from a Japanese RPG? Cute.

I'm also seeing a bit of Parasite Eve in DX.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


It mostly reminds me of Persona and Witch Hunter Robin. Maybe a bit of Type Moon.

AccidentalHipster
Jul 5, 2013

Whadda ya MEAN ya never heard of Dan Brereton?


If I had to throw in my two cents, I'd say it reminds me a little bit of s-CRY-ed with the way some of the powers and organizations that Cyphoderus mentioned worked.

AccidentalHipster fucked around with this message at 02:43 on Nov 5, 2013

DicktheCat
Feb 15, 2011



Digging this DX thing, but here's the big question: do you have to play stupid high school kids? It was mentioned in the intro post, but is it a requirement? Like, can you make adult PCs?

The whole preoccupation with highschool/that age group is what drives me running from a lot of Japanese media in general, and not just anime.

NachtSieger
Apr 10, 2013




DicktheCat posted:

Digging this DX thing, but here's the big question: do you have to play stupid high school kids? It was mentioned in the intro post, but is it a requirement? Like, can you make adult PCs?

Yeah, I have a friend who owns DX, and I'm at least 90% sure that you don't have to play high school kids. It just crops up a whole lot.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



DX sounds like Cybergeneration done right. Fact that the virus gives you superpowers at a price (shades of WoD blood and rage pools) makes it a step above that game in my opinion.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


The game veers towards most of the examples and scenarios being teens and young adults but it's not necessary, really. There's plenty of rules for adult occupations and I don't recall anything about the manifestation of Overeds leaning towards any particular age category.

Ryuujin
Sep 26, 2007
Dragon God

DX sounds really interesting and I am looking forward to more. Some of the stuff that gets done up in here really sounds interesting and makes me wish more people would run PbPs of these obscure games.

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

There's only one thing in the mountains that leaves a track like this. The creature of legend that roams the Timberline. My people named him Sasquatch. You call him... Bigfoot.

It's time for more



It's time for the most nation of Heluso and Milonda, the TRUILS. Truils are cannibal, mammoth riding, drug-crazed, werewolf barbarians. Well, technically they are three tribes. One is a tribe of mammoth riding barbarians (The Mountain Riders), one is a tribe of werewolf barbarians, (The Night Hunters) and one are folks who use a lot of a special drug called Kratig (The Bluefaces. So it's only a slight misrepresentation!

They -are- all cannibals, however, in two acceptable and one unacceptable circumstance. The two acceptable circumstances are funerary (where a truil in good standing is served as the main course of a feast in his honor) and on the battlefield, by biting a live enemy and ripping a chunk off- given that just about every Truil in the Night Hunters probably knows a spell or two even if they aren't full blown dedicated sorcerer-priests, and that Truilish magic is about being a werewolf who worships the moon as a goddess, this may just be practical. It's also a good scare tactic against their most common enemy, the Ulds. (Because well, who's not gonna be freaked out by that?)

The mostly unacceptable version is about eating the uncooked flesh of a dead enemy; Truilish belief is that this curses the enemy's ghost to unending torment until the one responsible is himself dead and his body goes uneaten. (If the killer gets a Truilish funeral, well, the torment isn't going to end.)

The Truils aren't really a nation, exactly , despite being in a chapter called "The Second Nation" they're a collection of not actually unified tribes who are slowly being pushed off their land by the Ulds. They aren't entirely sure why the Ulds want it, really, given that their own myths say that they were tricked out of the good lands where there is actual sunlight by the ancestor goddess of the Ulds. The tribes are nomadic, and 'agriculture' for them consists mostly of tending to plants in an area and trying to plant and grow more than they take from a given spot before they move on. They're an oral culture, for the most part, and possibly the most actually egalitarian society on Heluso and Milonda, but this is largely because the gap between "Chief" and "Average member of the tribe" is just not that wide.

The truilish military is basically exactly the opposite of the Ulds; Ulds tend to field big waves of average troops, backed up with terrifying military sorcerers who dance to make people explode or spit lightning. Truils do small sneaky commando units, supplemented by werewolf terror attacks or mammoth shock and awe raids.

As a side note: The Truil chapter is the first one to mention skin color; Truils (And a group that don't get a full writeup until another book) are the only white people in the setting. (This is another bit that drives some people crazy about the game, though not as crazy as 'Men ride side-saddle'. These people probably deserve to be driven crazy.)

Next time: COMPANY RULES. Possibly even this month!

unseenlibrarian fucked around with this message at 10:54 on Nov 5, 2013

Cyphoderus
Apr 21, 2010

I'll have you know, foxes have the finest call in nature


I'm so glad people are getting interested in DX! It's pretty cool. It's also very, very succinct. More often than not a term or idea will be explained in one sentence in the entire book. It works because it really fuels the imagination, and doesn't fall in the oh-so-common pitfall of over-describing a setting that Western designers love to do so much.

DicktheCat posted:

Digging this DX thing, but here's the big question: do you have to play stupid high school kids? It was mentioned in the intro post, but is it a requirement? Like, can you make adult PCs?

The whole preoccupation with highschool/that age group is what drives me running from a lot of Japanese media in general, and not just anime.
As been mentioned, that's not necessary at all. Out of the 14 sample characters, only 5 are students, and out of those, 4 of them have "high-school student" as their Cover – which has no mechanical effect and can be freely rewritten by the player. Mechanically, not only are other occupations supported, they're encouraged. Since your occupation determines your starting skills, if everyone starts out being a high-schooler everyone starts with the same skills. There's plenty of other options, from college student to magician to nurse. Next update we'll talk about Work and Cover and it will become clearer.

What DX doesn't do is shy away from genre cliches. On the contrary, it embraces them fully. That's why so many examples and illustrations follow the high-schooler norm.

Alien Rope Burn posted:

It's a game badly in need of Power Cards or the like to track all the myriad powers players can pick up.
Since the powers are already laid out in "card format", it isn't too expensive to photocopy them increasing the page size to standard A4, cutting them up, and putting in card sleeves, provided you have card sleeves already (why are these drat things so expensive anyway?)

unseenlibrarian posted:

It's time for more

Still love this game.

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.


unseenlibrarian posted:

Truils are cannibal, mammoth riding, drug-crazed, werewolf barbarians.
I keep reading that as Trullis:

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



unseenlibrarian posted:

As a side note: The Truil chapter is the first one to mention skin color; Truils (And a group that don't get a full writeup until another book) are the only white people in the setting. (This is another bit that drives some people crazy about the game, though not as crazy as 'Men ride side-saddle'. These people probably deserve to be driven crazy.)

I believe that there's one other group of mostly-white people, the Ob-lobs...who are related to the Truils.

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

There's only one thing in the mountains that leaves a track like this. The creature of legend that roams the Timberline. My people named him Sasquatch. You call him... Bigfoot.

Mors Rattus posted:

I believe that there's one other group of mostly-white people, the Ob-lobs...who are related to the Truils.

Yeah, that'd be the group I mentioned that don't get a full writeup until another book- Ob-lobs get namechecked, but don't really get explained until one of the bits that'd later become "The First Year of Our Reign". Actually because of that, they may actually have more written about them specifically than anyone else, just because there's a good chunk on their language written up as well.

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Robodog
Oct 22, 2004

...how does that work?


unseenlibrarian posted:

It's time for more



Fun fact about the Truils, the Kratig drug the Bluefaces use is so special because it makes pain feel pleasurable. Naturally this works wonders in combat, since you can mechanically shrug off anything short of overflowing killing damage to limbs which would be them physically breaking your arm or something like that. But it's also mentioned that Kratig is used as an epidural! As one of my friends just went through four straight days of contractions before finally giving birth I appreciate that they thought about that.

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