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Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Cyphoderus posted:

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?)

Well, with a hundred pages of them or so (which makes for what, six hundred plus cards?) that'd be a lot of work, it'd probably just be easier to transcribe them down for each character instead.

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Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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






Everlasting is difficult to summarize because it’s so poorly organized, and it’s not easy to convey confusion without being confusing yourself. The book doesn’t reach the schizophrenic depths of Immortal: the Invisible War, but from the very first chapter I notice much that it has in common with that game. It drifts from topic to topic, makes liberal use of sidebars, doesn’t discuss important topics where you’d expect, and its gamemastering advice is either simplistic or suggests bizarre methods. It also promises the possibility of deep personal revelation from gaming, and the first chapter ends with a lengthy glossary of setting jargon.

Chapter 1: Entering the Secret World is supposed to be an introduction to the setting, but it begins with a rambling appeal to belief in the supernatural. Like, are people fascinated with vampires and poo poo because it's fun, or is it something more? Are you religious? Because if you are then you totes believe in the supernatural. Just because you can't see it doesn't mean it's not real. Scientists know that there are, like, other dimensions, and what about the stuff science can't explain? The world would be a lot less interesting without believing in stuff you can't see. Like, how do you know atoms exist, can you see them? Anyways, it doesn't matter what your mean old dumb boring science says, billions of people believe in the supernatural. Do you?

There are too many fallacies to count, and it's only half a page. This is just one of many points in the book where I'm not sure if the author is telling us about the game, or inviting us to a Wicca ceremony with a bunch of flaky geeks to see if it "works for us." When you have to put up with this poo poo face-to-face, at least there's free weed.


Do you believe this guy's body will be found with binoculars hanging over his dick?

Everlasting spends several pages on its introduction to roleplaying, and frankly, it would be damned boring if it wasn't so flaky. In the very first paragraph, it states that the goal of the game is “to take your own Hero’s Journey, developed by the great mythologist Joseph Campbell.” Then it reminds experienced gamers that Everlasting is "more than a game, it is a Legendmaking experience." It tells us to be open-minded about new methods which transcend the "roll-playing" we've learned from other games. Jesus wept.

The book only spends three paragraphs on “What is Roleplaying?” before jumping into those new methods. We get one paragraph suggesting you try live-action roleplaying, and most of that is caveats against touching, violence, or scaring people in public. Then it devotes an entire page suggesting "communal Protagonists," in which PCs are traded around the group from session to session. We learn that Everlasting PCs are called Protagonists and the GM is called the Guide, and it’s hinted that rotating, sharing, or splitting the Guide’s duties is considered normal in this game. Sidebars bear the weight of explaining that Everlasting can use cards (Tarot or standard) or dice (d4,d6,d8,d10, but mainly d12), that you need character sheets and pen-and-paper, and that you might want some minis and counters.

A brief section on storytelling acknowledges that roleplaying is storytelling. (Hey, 90s game design got some things right.) It says that storytelling teaches us things about ourselves, but that most of us receive stories from mass media instead of using our own imaginations. Roleplaying is an opportunity to take that back. I can get behind that. However, Everlasting’s love affair with itself continues in a section on Legendmaking and being a good Legendmaker. What is Legendmaking? I’m not sure the author or any of his fellow creators actually knows. I do remember that Visionary Entertainment had a spokesperson on forum.rpg.net back in the day, who couldn’t satisfactorily defend Legendmaking as something above and beyond roleplaying. Here’s what I learned from the Legendmaking section:

1. Legendmaking allows you to build your own Personal Mythology.
2. “...the best place to begin is by consulting Joseph Campbell’s works, especially The Hero with a Thousand Faces and The Power of Myth.”
3. Legendmaking allows you to find the magic within yourself,” “explore magickal places,” “experience mythology,” “gain practical wisdom,” and “transcend the mundane.”
4. Legendmaking is italicized about 50% of the time.
5. The purpose of a legendmaker is to flip out and kill people.

The next page is seriously titled “A Higher Plane of Consciousness,” but it’s just more drivel about imagination and storytelling and magick. The only eye-catching line is when it outright states that in Everlasting, the Guide’s duties will normally be split between several people so everybody can play a Protagonist. I can’t wait for the GMing chapter to explain how that’s supposed to work.

After a page and a half of this crap, Everlasting finally, finally gets around to introducing the setting. In this game, there are many races of supernatural beings, called the Eldritch. (That’s awkward, but better than White Wolf fans discussing “supernaturals” for lack of an official catchall term.) The Eldritch includes everything from elves and wizards to vampires and gargoyles, and they inhabit the Secret World which lurks just under the surface of the everyday world.

This blends into an explanation of the game’s primary “themes.” The most important is “Ignorance and intolerance will be the death of us.” This makes itself known in the setting as a metaplot event called the “Death Knell,” which unleashed an army of demons upon the world. If the different Eldritch races can’t get along, we’re all doomed. Another is “Loneliness is a way of life.” Living for centuries while all your loved ones die is hard, and it hardens you. Who waaants to liiive foreveeer? The last is “It’s easy to lose touch.” A lot of people hold on to a familiar worldview while reality leaves them behind, and this is an easy vice for immortals.

Next is a page of “milieu elements.” This is really a list of all the things people look for in roleplaying games, like action, exploration, and romance, but with some definite emphasis on things that were popular in the 90s, such as conspiracy, gothic ambience, dark fantasy, and splatterpunk horror.

On the next page we finally get into the nitty-gritty of the Secret World. The Secret World, is separated from the “Real World” as most people understand it by the Reverie, a magickal reality which overlays the ordinary world, and which only Eldritch and a few gifted individuals can see. Beyond the Reverie is the Otherside, a catchall for all of the parallel dimensions--and there’s a shitload of them. The Astra (astral realm) contains everything from the Jungian collective unconscious to the Netherworlds where demons live. The Faery Kingdoms contain forgotten fragments of reality. The Underworld contains dead souls and other strangeness, while the Dreamworlds comprises warped versions of all of the above.


"What? You mean I have to go all the way back to the Insect Castle? I hate this game.

Much as it is in the World of Darkness, the Eldritch used to play a prominent role in human affairs, but this diminished over millennia and now they tend to congregate in major cities so they can interact with more of their own kind. Most of them are concerned about the Death Knell. The daevas, those Highlander demigod guys, have the power of prophecy, and most of them predicted that they would all go down fighting in a ragnarok against a demon army, and usher in a new age. That didn’t exactly happen, but an army of demons did arrive, the Otherside was rocked with cataclysmic events, and most of the daevas died or disappeared. Since then, something called the “Convergence” is drawing Eldritch of all kinds to North America, which has become a battleground in the demon war.

And now there is jargon. All of it.

Aceldama: Meaning slaughterhouse, a word for a region or city that’s become a violent battleground.
Adapan: A lost race of prehistoric humans who coexisted with dragons.
Aethyr: A realm within the Astra.
Agartha: “outer realms existing as alternate dimensions outside the human consciousness.” Okay.
Agarthic Sphere: Any realm within the Agartha. Earth is one.
Antediluvian cities: Ancient Adapan cities.
Antediluvian civilization: The Adapan civilizaiton. Destroyed by the “Great Deluge” in the “Cataclysm,” of course.
Ashura: The founders of the first immortal clans.
Astra: the spirit world.
Athanasia: Immortality. Okay.
Azhi Dahaka: An Eldritch who’s eaten the soul of a dragon, gaining its power.
Blood Feud: Fighting between two factions or races of immortals.
Changeling: An immortal in the process of transforming into a faery.
Children of the Night: the undead.
Collective: An astral realm which is the collective human unconscious.
Condemned Soul: a dead soul.
The Convergence: A ripoff of The Gathering from Highlander, some mysterious force drawing immortals to North America.
Corpse-Eater: ghul.
Crusader: A quester.
Cycle of Reincarnation: What mummies call the cycle of reincarnation they go through. Okay.
Daeva: Immortals who resemble mythic demigods, and who have powers linked to time and fate.
Dead Soul: A disembodied spirit dwelling in the Underworld.
Death Knell: The metaplot event that killed more than half of all daevas and kicked off a series of unfortunate events. It began about 20 years ago.
Deathless: A catchall for daevas, questers, and undead, since none of them age.
Demon: a living incarnation of negative emotions.
Daodine: Faeries who were once human (or other eldritch).
Discarnate: Intangible spirits.
Dogs of War: warmongering immortals who spur on conflict.
Dominion: An eldritch’s territory.
Doomsday: The theoretical end of all magick and immortals. And possibly all life on earth.
Dragon: They’re dragons. They think they’re the oldest and the wisest.
Dragon Cities: The Antediluvian cities (see above).
Dreamlord: Powerful dreamers who control a realm in Phantasia, part of the Dreamworlds.
Eldritch: A supernatural creature, including the everlasting, faeries, dream entities, spirits, and demons, but excluding mortals with magick powers.
Empyrean: An older, equally awkward word for the Reverie.
Eternal One: A term of respect for the really really old immortals.
Ever Reborn: The Osirians.
Everlasting: All immortals, including daevas, dragons, manitou, Osirians, possessed, questers, and unliving.
Everlasting Society: The society of the Everlasting. Derp.
Faery: Creatures from the faery realms; they may or may not be immortal.
Faeryland: Their home dimension. It consists of fragments of reality “stolen” from Earth and other realms.
Fantast: A mortal who can perceive the Reverie.

My fingers hurt and I’m only on letter F.

Fellowship: A group of immortal allies. In other words, the term for your adventuring party.
Final Battle: The ragnarok against the demons, predicted by the daeva.
Freak Show: Showing off your powers to mortals.
Fringe: Yet another synonym for Reverie.
Fringy: spending too much time among immortals so you act like a space case.
Frontier: North America.
Genos (pl. Gentes): A race of eldritch.
Ghul: Subterranean undead eldritch who eat corpses.
Godling: Derogatory for daeva.
Gotterdammerung: A prophesied time the daeva will all die and be replaced by cool new gods, like Metron and Mister Miracle.
Grail Knight: an order of questers dating back to Arthur’s roundtable.
Hellbound: Anyone who’s traded their soul for demonic power.
Hellspawn: The hybrid child of a mortal and a demon.
Household: A group of daevas who organize themselves kind of like a familial pantheon.
Kith and Kin: An immortals’ loved ones.
The Legacy: Immortality.
Leviathan: Demons made from dragons’ negative emotions.
Lyncanthropes: The wer.
Magick: The way to spell real magic.
Manitou: Nature-serving immortals created by binding an animal totem to a human.
Menagerie: The collective unconscious of animals, from which totems come.
Merodach: The first immortals, chosen by dragons to rule their cities. They betrayed the dragons and were killed.
Merodachian: An adjective meaning “of the merodachs.” Yes, this is an entry.
Mindscape: The Astra.
Minion: a mortal who serves an eldritch.
Mundane: Mortals who only perceive the Real World.
Nightmare Lands: A dreamworld where shadows live.
Nimbus: the magickal aura of an eldritch.
Ochelum: a dream entity that possesses and preys on mortals.
Old Soul: A very old immortla.
Osirian: Mortal sorcerers who reincarnate, remembering their past lives upon reaching adulthood.
Outcast: An eldritch shunned by their own kind.
Phantasia: A series of kingdoms in the dreamworlds.
The Possessed: The mortals possessed by ochelum, via a magic gem.
Preternatura: Any kind of supernatural powers.
Quester: Humans who became immortals by pledging themselves to a good cause and receiving divine blessing. For example, the Grail Knights.
Rapture: A ripoff of the Quickening from Highlander, which happens when an immortal dies.
The Real World: The “normal” world most people perceive.
Resonance: The traces of supernatural powers and energy.
Reverie: The magickal energies that overlay normal reality, which only eldritch and sorcerers can see.
Seelie: Benevolent faeries.
Secret World: All the magickal truths of the world that mortals can’t usually see.
Serpent Lord: An azhi dahaka.
Shadows: Dreamworld creatures which turn dreams to nightmares and feed on fear.
Shapeshifter: A wer or a manitou, or any eldritch with shapeshifting powers.
Sempervivium: Yet another word for immortality.
Skinchanger: Yet another word for wer.
Sluagh: Generally evil faeries.
Sojourn: When an immortal abandons their life to start over.
Somnomancer: A mortal dream wizard.
Somnorium: Each person’s own personal dream realm.
Templar: The obligatory mortal secret society that’s aware of eldritch.
Temporal Society: what immortals call the ever-fleeting human society and pop culture.
Therianthrope: A wer that’s not a werewolf.
Those Who Are Soon Gone: a term for mortals.
Titan: A merodach.
Totem: The animal spirits which turn mortals into manitou.
Un-dead: The unliving.
Unliving: The un-dead.
Vampire: Undead immortals who must drink blood.
Vattan: The Adapan language.
Verdant Lands: The astral realm of the collective unconscious of plant life. Seriously.
Void: Realms of utter nothingness.
Vortex: Magickal rifts in time and space.
Wakanda: Nature spirits.
Warhawk: Immortals who engage in internal disputes.
Wer: Mortals infected with the “changing virus” that causes them to transform into werecreatures.
Wisdom of the Ancients: The philosophy by which many immortals live; it preaches secrecy and nonintervention.
Zone: The Reverie.
Zoner: A fringy eldritch.

Next time, on The Everlasting: All work and no play makes Jack Command+B. All work and no play makes Jack Command+B. All work and no play makes Jack Command+B. All work and no play makes Jack Command+B. All work and no play makes Jack Command+B. All work and no play makes Jack Command+B. All work and no play makes Jack Command+B. All work and no play makes Jack Command+B. All work and no play makes Jack Command+B. All work and no play makes Jack Command+B. All work and no play makes Jack Command+B. All work and no play makes Jack Command+B. All work and no play makes Jack Command+B. All work and no play makes Jack Command+B. All work and no play makes Jack Command+B.

Halloween Jack fucked around with this message at 21:40 on Nov 5, 2013

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

I would have started looking for the lighter fluid at the first mention of Campbell. I'd have gone to the 7-11 for a bottle by the third. Good god.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



Bieeardo posted:

I would have started looking for the lighter fluid at the first mention of Campbell. I'd have gone to the 7-11 for a bottle by the third. Good god.

Seriously. NOT EVERYTHING HAS TO BE HERO'S JOURNEY.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


gently caress Campbell and the license for intellectual laziness he gave to a thousand thousand genre writers.

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine


Woah woah woah. Hate the writers not the Hero of a thousand faces.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



Alien Rope Burn posted:

gently caress Campbell and the license for intellectual laziness he gave to a thousand thousand genre writers.

For real, it doesn't help George Lucas retroactively claimed he was following Campbell's Hero of a Thousand Faces for intellectual cred.

It's depressing how many writes take it as the only way to tell a story.

Ratoslov
Feb 15, 2012

Now prepare yourselves! You're the guests of honor at the Greatest Kung Fu Cannibal BBQ Ever!



Dear god, the 90'sness of it never stops, does it?

Bitchtits McGee
Jul 1, 2011


I don't know from Campbell, but given a running start, I'll happily bend anyone's ear with pretentious droning about the importance of creating one's own stories and the facilitation provided by RPGs.

This poo poo, though. Oy.

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

To be fair 'The Hero's Journey' is a good way to tell a story. To be fairer it is not the only or necessarily the best way to tell a story.

Mimir
Nov 26, 2012


I've always wanted to play a Changeling Fighter or other-system equivalent so I could finally play The Hero With a Thousand Faces. With the idea that, every time he was needed, he would show up in a different guise. One time, a swashbuckling rogue, another time, a full-plated knight, as the occasion would demand, with either a Clark Kentish everyman default form going on, or a "tell" that showed that he was the same dude at some point during each guise.

Someday.

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine


Only if you get inspired by Mieville's Dial H and make every identity a cripplingly bad pun.

Cardiovorax
Jun 5, 2011

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

Mr. Maltose posted:

Woah woah woah. Hate the writers not the Hero of a thousand faces.
The only interesting hero with a thousand anything is El-ahrairah. Campbell can go bite it.

Diskhotep
Jan 4, 2008



Cardiovorax posted:

The only interesting hero with a thousand anything is El-ahrairah. Campbell can go bite it.

So who's going to be reviewing Bunnies & Burrows?

MonsieurChoc
Oct 12, 2013

Every species can smell its own extinction.


Part 3
Behind the Wall: The Ghetto at Warszawa




The Warsaw Ghetto is one of the most well-known locations of the Holocaust, along with Auschwitz. If you've seen Schindler's List, The Pianist or many other movies you've seen the Warsaw ghetto. After the Nazis conquered Poland and took over Warsaw, they corralled all the Jews into a small and poor neighborhood and then built a wall around it. Life in the ghetto was pretty terrible, with the authorities treating the inhabitants terribly and resources being terribly lacking. The author can't help but notice that the Snickers bar he was eating while writing this chapter contains more calories than the average inhabitant of the Ghetto would get in an entire day.

Once again the Nazi set up a Judenrat to serve as their puppet government, as well as a Jewish Police Force made up of people who had little contact with the Jewish community previously. They were apparently sometimes worse than even the SS. Adam Czerniakow, the leader of the Judenrat, choose to cooperate with the Nazis as much as possible, but eventually killed hismelf in 1942 when he found out what deportation really meant. It changed nothing. Meanwhile, a resistance was being formed in the Ghetto. Helped by a member of the Polish Communist Party, Pinkus Kartin, partisan's were trained and started planning attacks. While he was soon executed by the SS, he did meet up with a young man by the name of Mordechai Anielewicz who ended up becoming a leader of the Ghetto Resistance. Despite the lack of help from other Polish resistance groups, who were pretty anti-semite themselves, he started storing weapons and ressources. They slowly turned the ghetto into a veritable deathtrap, full of traps and secret tunnels and bunkers. And when in early 1943 the Nazis decided to completely empty the Ghetto in preparation for the Final Solution, the Jew fought back.

Charnel House posted:

Mein Gott! Die Juben haben Waffen!(My God! The Jew have weapons!)
- screamed by the first Nazi soldier to die in the Ghetto Revolt

For 27 days, the various Resistance groups fought back in Ghetto Uprising. Armed with Molotov Cocktails, smuggled guns, artisanal explosives and whatever they could get their hands on, they held the Wermacht at bay for more days than it took to conquer Poland in the first place. Eventually, the german commander Jurgen Stroop won, but only by burning the entire Ghetto to the ground. The entire neighborhood was razed block by block, with the few survivors sent to the Death camps.

In the Skinlands, almost nothing remains of the ghetto, except for a few monuments and small museums. However, in the Shadowlands the place remains almost entirely intact, sent there due to the German destruction. The dead remain segregated in death as they were in life, with the Dybbuks of the Ghetto rarely meeting with the Polish ghosts of the rest of Warsaw. While not all Jewish dead became Wraiths, it is estimated that as many as 20000 wraiths live in the Ghetto. There's a lot of factions among them, the most numerous being the ghosts of the partisans, still lead by Anielewicz. While the Hierarchy considers them to be Renegades, their popularity and the Covenant renders them untouchable for now.

The Ghetto is now protected by the Wall that closed it in the lands of the living. Huge and oppressive, it offers protection against the Spectre that try to attack the Ghetto... as well as the eternal prison of Nazis who found themselves on the wrong side of the wall in the afterlife. The Sewers under the Ghetto are still there, patrolled to keep an eye out for Spectres who might invade from the Labyrinth. The Central ghetto is where the Judenrat used to be housed, and now houses the new leadership of the Ghetto. It also houses a few monuments in the Skinlands, serving as springs of Pathos to the wraiths. The Productive Ghetto was where the factories were, and in death the factories are still there, working for the Jews this time. This is where things are soulforged or moliated into tools, and due to the lack of raw materials a thriving Black Market is also present. Finally the Wild ghetto, what used to the poorest and most destroyed area of the living Ghetto, is now a lawless mess were most Dybbuks fear to go. It might house Spectres, and it's "leader" might or might not be the ghost of Moishe the Bolshevik, a man who helped Anielewicz during the Uprising.

We now get to the important NPCs of the Ghetto. First up is Mordechai Anielewicz: after leading the Uprising, the young man did not let something as trifle as death stop him. He's now the leader of the Ghetto wraiths, and is something of a legend among Europe's wraiths. His stats are suitably impressive, wit multiple Attributes and Arcanoi at 4 or 5. His Passions are to keep protecting the living and dead Jews of Warsaw and to never let a fascist regime threaten his people again, while his Dark Passions are to give up the good fight, betray the people and avenge himself against the ingrates. Emily Landau was the first to kill a Nazi during the Uprising, and the first Jew to die. She's one of Anielewicz's top aide, but has developed unrequited romantic feelings for the leader. This has had the unfortunate side-effect of strengthening her Shadow, as the dead 17-years old teenager does not know how to deal with her emotions properly. Her Passions are to make Anielewicz fall for her, avenge herself and protect the surviving Jews of Warsaw, while her Dark Passions are to make Mordechai care (associated with codependency instead of love) and to "avenge" herself on anyone who pisses her off. Adam Czerniakow is the old leader of the Judenrat. He spent many years wandering aimlessly through the Ghetto until Anielewicz gave him a minor diplomatic position out of pity. Czerniakow hates him because of this pity and mercy. And it seems his Shadow has used his diplomatic position to enter into contact with dangerous Dead... His passiosn are to redeem his "good" name, atone for the deaths of the deported ones and to keep the community safe, while his Dark Passions are to get Anielewicz killed and to force the Warsaw wraiths to show gratitude for all he has accomplished. Rebbe Zishe Friedman was an advocate of nonviolence in lfie, which led to him being beaten to death by an SS officer. Now, he's become a sort of religious leader in the local dead's search for Transcendence. His Passions are to preserve the Judaic faith beyond the shroud, teach "truth" to all listeners and to abstain from militancy, while his Shadow Passions are to study occult lore without caring for the consequences and tot rick people into avenging his death.

The chapter ends once again with story ideas:
- The Warsaw wraiths become involved in the politics of newly democratized Poland, violating the Dictum Mortuum. The player's are dispatched to patch things up... or exploit them for their own ends.
- Anielewicz makes a daring raid into the local Hierarchy Citadel, stealing a powerful Artifact, and the characters are sent to retrieve it. But was it really him who did it? And if it was, with whom the characters will ultimately side?
- Rebbe Friedman (or his Shadow) contacts a Spectral hive, allowing them into the Ghetto. A harrowing game of Cat and Mouse ensues in the Wild Ghetto.

Next: A Struggle for the Forsaken

Fossilized Rappy
Dec 26, 2012




Part 1: The People of Northern Crown

A fair warning before I start this part: while I will be technically doing these titles in order, the fact that the setting fluff is stuffed in the Gazetteer over the core campaign book means I will be drawing a bit from it to avoid things being too confusing. This will mean a bit of repetition once we actually get to that title. I'll also be skipping chapter 1 of this core book for the opposite reason, as the Gazetteer has a far more detailed version of the brief statements about the setting it has to offer.




Cultures
While some fantasy species do technically exist in Northern Crown, they are relegated to the realm of the unplayable, the setting following the "all characters are human" rule. Instead, you get to be the member of one of seventeen specific cultures. Each culture has its own starting benefits and specific benefits related to certain classes.


Albian: The Albians are the denizens of Albion, fantasy-England ruled by the half-fey Queen Gloriana, the daughter of Queen Elizabeth and the lordly fey King Oberon (no word on how Titania took that whole issue). As long as you don't deal with demons, devils, or the undead, Albians tend to be pretty chill folks who love to chat and be courteous to a fault. Well, they're all that publicly, at least, as more than a few have cold-hearted ambition up the wazoo that they keep hidden under their prim and proper demeanor. Character-wise, Albians gain a +2 bonus to Bluff and Diplomacy due to their gift of gab and free 0-level spells thanks to being touched by the Faerie.


Buccaneer: A "nation" of outlaws and castaways that have congealed together into a brotherhood of stereotypical Hollywood pirates that sail the Atlantic Ocean and Carib Sea. Buccaneers are technically the enemies of all empires, but most of them tend to turn a blind eye as long as the pirate bands go after rival nations. A Buccaneer character gets a +1 bonus to Calance, Climb, Jump, Profession (Sailor), Spot, Swim, and Use Rope, have a +1 bonus to Armor Class and Reflex saves as long as they are on a ship, get free proficiency with artillery, and can take 10 on Climb checks even when rushed or threatened.


Carolingian: A fusion of the Carolina and Virginia territories, Carolingia is a Northern Crown nation ruled by King Charles II and his group of fairy-hating loyalists. They feel that Albion and Queen Gloriana are false rulers and that they are the rightful Anglican nation. Carolingians like big meals, big actions, and generally being kind of overblown figures, but are also obsessed about class status, suspicious of foreign religions, and feel magic is the domain of cheats and lowly folk. Carolingian characters get a +1 bonus to Handle Animal checks and a +2 bonus to Ride and Knowledge (Nobility) checks. Not quite Buccaneer levels of excitement there.


Cherokee: The Cherokee nation rules the “Mountains of Smoke” – really, changing the name of the Smoky Mountains of all things? – and are pretty much the real Cherokee but with magic and diplomatic relations with the fey. They have special variant Sorcerer called the dadunesgi that can choose to be either part of the “white path” (focus on boosting spells with the Force descriptor) or “red path” (focus on boosting spells with the Fire descriptor). Cherokee characters get +2 to Knowledge (Fey), Perform (Dance), and Profession (Farmer), a +1 bonus to Reflex saves and Armor Class when in forested or mountainous terrain, and an ability called Fey Allies. That last one is quite noteworthy – thanks to those diplomatic relations with the magical fey, once per week a Cherokee can attempt to summon 2d4 pukwudgee with a 50% chance of success. Pukwudgee are Challenge Rating 1, so it’s not like it’s hugely overpowered, but free summoning from level 1 is definitely noteworthy.


Cimarron: The Cimmarons are slaves from Africa Nyambe that have revolted and begun a fierce war to oust the French from Hispaniola and Jamaica to make those islands an independent Cimarron nation. They get access to class variants from Nyambe: African Adventures, worship the orisha detailed in Nyambe: African Adventures, and are kind of unabashedly “did you buy Nyambe: African Adventures? Go buy Nyambe: African Adventures” on the part of the author. Cimarron characters get a +2 bonus to Knowledge (Local) checks and have a +1 bonus to attacks against Lawful Evil foes.


Commonwealther: Imagine the most ardent Salem trials-style Puritan. Now tell that Puritan that they are justified and demons are really consorting with witches, and then multiply them into a whole nation. That describes the Commonwealthers of the Holy Commonwealth (Massachusetts) in a nutshell. They are quiet and polite with other Christians, but also publicly hang any spellcasters other than Christian Clerics, feverishly hunt witches, and generally make even the holiest members of the Anglican Church go “woah, man, cool your jets”. Commonwealther characters have a +2 bonus to Knowledge (Religion), gain a +1 bonus to attack rolls against foes with a Chaotic alignment, and are always proficient in polearms.


Coureur: A mixture of French and First Nations cultures, the Coureurs are basically fur trappers that decided to settle down and live in the northeastern wilderness 24/7. They are superstitious survivalists that are sought after due to their ties to both Uropan and First Nations people and customs making them valuable diplomats and their wilderness know-how making them favored guides. Game-wise, Coureurs get a +2 bonus to Hide, Listen, and Move Silently checks in forested terrain and get Run as a bonus feat.


Espaniard: The Espaniards are from Spain Espania, whose Northern Crown holdings include most of the Gulf Golfe Coast, La Florida, and Cuba. They are obsessed with having a gallant knight persona and put out a lot of shpiel about honor and adventure, but in the end they are pretty much the Catholic equivalent of the Commonwealthers. Espaniards are imperialistic, outlaw other religions and arcane magic, and see themselves as the last bastionof sanity in a world of madness while at the same time unironically finding Don Quixote to be an inspiring folk hero. Espaniard characters gain a +1 bonus to attacks against characters whose culture is Albian, Buccaneer, Nederlander, or Witchling and they can use the long rapier as a one-handed rather than two-handed weapon.


Francais France is a powerful empire, and the native Francais are snobbish fops who love grandiose pageantry and see other nationalities as inferiors to be pitied. They are also slightly better about arcane spellcasters than most Uropan nations in that they are okay with Wizards as long as they study their magic at the government-sanctioned Royal Academy.


Kelt: The Kelts are a group of people that come from the islands of Scotland Scotia, Ireland Eire, Wales Cymru, and Brittany Bretayne. They still follow the old gods and are kiss-asses to the fey to the point of shunning those that won't sufficiently placate them, and don't really have many human friends in the world other than their fellow fey-frolicking Albians. They're especially suspicious of Espaniards and Francais, which makes sense given that the Roman Catholic Church has openly stated that the pagan Kelts should be curbstomped as soon as possible. Kelt characters only get +2 to one skill chosen between Bluff, Diplomacy, or Gather Information, but they also get free fey-touched magic in the same nanner that ALbians do.


Mohawk: As with the Cherokee, the Mohawk are mostly Wikipedia entry info mixed with magic. The Mohawk are in open warfare with the Holy Commonwealth and more subdued conflict with the Huron nation. Mohawk characters get a +1 bonus to Survival checks, a +1 bonus to Reflex saves and Armor Class while in forested terrain, and can petition a lesser manitou spirit once per day to either heal 1d4 damage, grant a +2 bonus to a single saing throw, or replicate the prayer spell.


Nederlander: The Nederlanders are quite the contradictory lot. They believe in having the finer things in life and are accomplished traders, yet they believe that material goods are vanity goods that have no wealth due to the fact that everyone eventually dies and leaves them behind. They love parties and merriment yet also believe that such excesses can stain the soul. They have a powerful oligarchy, yet believe in individual rule over political rule. These factors all lead into the Nederlanders having a “the truth is in the middle” approach to everything in life other than their vehement distaste for the empire they fled from. Their entry also notes that while they are in tense terms with Sweden, Swedes use the same game stats and act the same way. A Nederlaner/Swede character gets a +1 bonus to Profession (Sailor) and Sense Motive, a +2 bonus to Appraise, and a +1 bonus to attack rolls made against individuals that serve the Habsburg Empire.


Ojibwa: The Ojibwa nation differs from most of the other playable First Nations cultures in that they are semi-nomadic and roam around the Great Lakes region, don’t tend to have arcane spellcasters, and are not really on good terms with the First Nations’ Five Nations League. Ojibwa characters get a +1 bonus to Survival, +2 bonus to Profession (Fisher) and Swim, the same wilderness Armor Class and Reflex bonus that the Cherokee have, and have a special craft item called the dream article that lets them cast either augury, divine favor, or shield of faith once per day.


Shawnee: The Shawnee of the Ohio Vale are skilled traders that feel they are burdened with the responsibility of keeping the Northern Crown safe from evil due to their cosmology’s statements on them being literally the center of the universe. While the Ojibwa simply don’t tend to use arcane magic, the Shawnee actively loathe it, feeling it is a manifestation of the evils of the Great Serpents (nagas). Shawnee characters gain a +1 bonus to Survival checks, always have Heal as a class skill and get a +2 bonus to Heal checks for first aid or long-term surgical care, have the same wilderness AC and Reflex bonus that the Cherokee and Ojibwa have, and have a magical item called the pawaka that can be used once per day to cast detect evil, doom, or provide a +4 bonus to a saving throw against fear.


Sophian: The Republic of Sophia (the Virginias) and its daughter state Vermont are basically Revolutionary America in a setting where there technically hasn’t been an American Revolution. Sophians believe in life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, etc., etc. and welcome pretty much everyone who isn’t hurting others or harming their freedom. Major influences in the life of the Sophian are their ruler Thomas Philathelias Jefferson and his allies in the Freemasons Solomonic Order such as Alexander Achilles Hamilton and Benjamin Chiron Frankliyn. Sophian characters gain a +2 bonus to Concentration and Diplomacy checks, as well as a +1 bonus to attack rolls made against the members of any nation that is currently at war with the Republic of Sophia.

Vinlander: While in real life the Norse colonies in Canada failed, in the Northern Crown setting they survived and the roudy raiding Vinlanders now their way up and down the North Atlantic. They are ruled by a jarl, still worship the old gods such as Odin and Freya, and are generally known for being fierce allies if you gain their trust and equally fierce enemies if you are their target. Vinlander characters gain +2 to Intimidate, +3 to Swim, +1 to Fortitude saves, and +2 to saves against fear effects.


Witchling: Witchlings are a very vague “culture” whose sole defining trait is that they are either witches or support witches. They live in enclaves such as Salem Naumkeag, are ruled by a coven, worship Earth and revere the moon, and are hated by pretty much everyone else. Witchling characters have a +1 bonus to Sense Motive, +2 to saves against fear, and low-light vision.





The Uropans
After chapter 2 introduces us to playable cultures and their unique traits, chapter 3 decides to give a stereotypical view of what Uropans as a whole tend to be like. Uropans are supposed to be restrained from public displays of ill emotions, honorable, and respect the class system. Paid servants, indentured servants, and slaves are an everyday fact of life for the rich and powerful, to the point that there are rules for player characters of a high enough social rank to have servants (but not slaves, since...yeah). Arcane magic in all but the most conservative of Uropan cultures tends to be viewed as “Bards and Wizards okay, sorcery questionable, witchcraft and necromancy the province of demons.” Similarly, religion is an unmoving point for most Uropans and their Northern Crown descendants – pagans tend to not be welcomed in Uropan cultures other than those tied to the fey such as the Kelts or those that cling to the old gods like the Vinlanders, Jews aren't particularly welcomed outside of the domains of the Nederlanders and Sophians, and Christianity itself is split between the tense factions of the Catholic Church, Albion Anglicans, Carolingian Anglicans, Dissenters (Lutherans), and Puritans. In the Republic of Sophia, deism is becoming pretty popular as the new religious fad.




The First Ones
The First Ones, also referred to as the First Nations in other parts of the book, are discussed in chapter 4 in a similar manner to the Uropans, with the statement of “here’s a generic view of them, go see specifics in chapter 2 if you want more details on a specific nation”. The chapter notes that the First Ones aren’t really all that different from Uropans – they have a social ladder (albeit one that has a bit less layers to it), traditional gender roles, commerce, war, and both political and religious leaders. Even the First Ones’ Spirit World has a direct analog to the Uropan world of the Faerie. There are, of course, differences, however, which are noted in blurbs on First Ones religion, traditional games such as hubbub and puim, the translation of wampum and animal hides to Uropan coin currency, and the differences in town layout. It’s rather clinical and there’s nothing really all that objectionable or racist on either the “noble savage” or “feral inferior” sides of that scale.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Next update: Getting deeper into character creation with classes and prestige classes.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



If I recall, they actually give the rationale behind making Anielewicz a complete statistical monster. It is something along the lines of 'Here's what this man did. In real life. You can go read about it. Now come back and tell us that these stats are wrong.'

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Diskhotep posted:

So who's going to be reviewing Bunnies & Burrows?

I'd offer to hunt around for my GURPS B&B, but it was written back when worldbook adaptations were drier than Death Valley.

MonsieurChoc
Oct 12, 2013

Every species can smell its own extinction.


Mors Rattus posted:

If I recall, they actually give the rationale behind making Anielewicz a complete statistical monster. It is something along the lines of 'Here's what this man did. In real life. You can go read about it. Now come back and tell us that these stats are wrong.'

Pretty much. One of the reasons I'm so glad about having read this book is all the stuff I learned by reading it. I never knew about Theresienstadt. Babi Yar and the ghetto Uprising. The Uprising is the most simultaneously and I've read. Screw the 300, this is the Last Stand I remember with tears in my eyes.

Cyphoderus
Apr 21, 2010

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



DOUBLE CROSS

Part II - Anatomy of a Character


Now that you know what you are and what you fight for, it's time to decide who you are. This chapter starts out explaining the difference between a PC and a NPC, and then starts explaining what components make a character. At the most basic level, you've got four major things that define a character. They are: Syndromes and Powers, Work and Cover, Stats and Skills, and Personal Data. Let's look at them in order.

When Overeds started cropping up in the world, scientists observed that when an Overed displayed a determined power, they were more likely to display other powers. Through observation of data of Overed activity, they started grouping powers in related groups. Nowadays, there are twelve of them, and they're called Syndromes. A given Overed can manifest one to three Syndromes, and each Syndrome grants them different Powers.
Incidentally, that is the nicest in-setting explanation of a class system I've ever seen.

But you are not the powers you have. You are a person. As a person, you have a place in society and a daily life that you live. Your set of skills comprise your Work. The way society sees you, the identity you broadcast to the world, is your Cover. The main difference between the two is that Work you pick from a list and it dictates what skills you start out with, while Cover is a free-form descriptor. The book calls Work "what you do for a living", but it isn't exactly so. For instance, someone with Work: Martial Artist and Cover: Librarian might as well work the entire week in a library, but people still refer to him as that martial artist guy, and fighting is what he does. It's like if real life had a Final Fantasy-esque job system.

Stats are your character's innate abilities. Each Stat governs a set of three Skills: the things you know how to do. These concepts are pretty standard and do not escape from your standard RPG preconceptions. The Stats and the Skills attached to them are as follows:
Body - governs Melee, Dodge, and Ride.
Mind - governs Renegade Control, Will, and Knowledge.
Sense - governs Ranged, Perception, and Art.
Social - governs Negotiation, Procure, and Info.

Ride, Knowledge, Art, and Info require specialisation. Examples include Ride: Two Wheels, Knowledge: Medicine, Art: Juggling With Fire, or Info: Rumours. Info is the ability to gather information from a specific circle. The more common ones are Info: UGN, Info: Underworld and Info: Police.

Combat skills work as expected. You use Melee to put a shiv in someone's belly, Ranged to fire a gun, and Renegade Control (RC) to shoot a stalactite of ice.

Procure is special in that it's the skill used to get gear during the game. It's the shopping, scavenging, guilt-tripping-people-into-giving-you-stuff skill. Equipment works off an abstract system and the game doesn't track wealth.

What's left is Personal Data. This is the character's background. This isn't a freeform, "have this blank box and write your background on it" thing. Your background consists of your origin, i.e. what kind of home you come from; a significant experience in your life; a significant encounter with one of the setting's established NPCs (reminds me of 13th Age's icons, only more tangible); the event that made the Renegade awaken in you; and the wicked impulse that you have because of the Renegade, the thing that threatens to take over and make you a Gjaum. Most important of all, however, are the relationships your character has with other PCs and NPCs. These are called Loises and they play a major role in the game. You will start with 3-5 of these. Your awakening and impulse also determine your starting Encroachment Rate, which is how much the Renegade has taken over. Hint: it's more than you think. You'll start the game at around 30%.



The Syndromes

There are twelve recognised Syndromes. A Syndrome grants powers that fit more or less in the same theme. Remember, any given Overed can manifest one, two, or three of them. Here they are:

Angel Halo
Manipulation and control of light. Blinding foes with bright flashes, firing lasers from your eyes, becoming invisible. You can be like a very stealthy Cyclops-meets-Jubilee. Powers that manipulate the senses, such as smell and taste, are also grouped here.

Balor
Control of gravity. Mess with the mass and acceleration of things. Make the scales literally tip in your favour. In this wonderful post-Einstein world, this means you also get to mess around with time and space.

Black Dog
The electrical currents that run through your body are your plaything. You can do the classical electrical attacks, but Overeds with this Syndrome are also known to sport cybernetic implants and be really good hackers.

Bram Stoker
You guessed it: blood. Manipulate your own blood to use it as a weapon, shiled or accelerete your healing and suchlike. More notably, use it to or create deformed half-sentient life-forms that you command, the so-called Red Servants. Have these guys pick up your newspaper or fight your foes.

Chimera
The very unsubtle body manipulating Syndrome. Grow wings. Harden your skin into a carapace. Develop poison glands. Develop a poisonous carapace with wings. Become a vizzerdrix or a hork-bajir and anything in-between. Also included here are the super-strength powers.

Exile
The subtle body manipulation Syndrome. Make your bones bend like silly putty, accelerate or slow down your metabolism, make your stomach change places with your heart to avoid a fatal strike (but still get some nasty heartburn), sharpen your nails into deadly weapons and grab people with your hair. You know. Subtle.

Hanuman
You are really fast. Everything speed is in here. Not many people can resist a punch that come in mach 1, you know. The Hanuman is also the master of vibrations. Your arsenal is stocked with running fast, yes, but also with shockwaves and sonic booms and the like.

Morpheus
Break the law of conservation of mass like it ain't no thing. You can create stuff out of nothing, and change the stuff that's already there. If you need a gun out of thin air or if you always thought your car should be a giant robot instead, the Morpheus is your guy. The stuff they make is out of a weird kind of cosmical sand, and they also have powers that manipulate that sand directly to protect themselves and deal damage.

Neumann
The virus makes you a genius. The realm of the Neumann is calculations and strategical thinking. This Syndrome is among the last flashy and the more efficient - what use is having a giant scorpion's tail poking out of your buttocks if you can't figure out where's the weak spot in the enemy's armour? Neumann is ripe with support powers.

Orcus
You can make the area around you your Domain, and you have power over your Domain. You are the master of your surroundings. Transfer your mind into an animal nearby, know when a foe enters your Domain, and make the trees attack them. Make doors lead where they aren't supposed to. This is the Syndrome most in tune with nature.

Salamandra
Heat is yours to play with, in both directions: increase it and dudes burn, chase it away and dudes freeze. You get power over metaphorical heat as well: making people calm and cool, make people burn with passion.

Solaris
Your body is a chemical plant, a drug lab, a bio-reactor. Expel pheromones, anesthetise your foes, rob their memories. Want to have a horde of mindless zombie-like drugged people obeying your every command? You can't go wrong with Solaris. You can also cook really well. Seriously.

Three ways to make a character

Now that we've got the basics covered, the game introduces us to three different ways to create a character. They are presented in order of difficulty and involvement.

Quick Start - Pick one of the sample template characters, create Personal Data, you're done. Takes around five minutes.
Construction - What passes for regular character creation in most games. Make your choices, step by step, and in the end you have a character.
Full Scratch - The GURPS alternative. You have a pool of points, use those to build from scratch a character exactly as you envision them.

The sample characters for Quick Start provide you with a broad concept and their entire character sheet pre-filled in with everything you need to play... except for Personal Data, which is, in turn, extremely easy to make on the spot. Thus, the same template can give rise to characters with different backgrounds. It's a very nice way of doing quick character creation.

These concepts are nice and all, but they certainly could use some examples. Next update, we'll go through one of the Quick Start characters and get to know a little bit about Works, Powers, etc. Last but not least, we'll see some examples of Personal Data being set up, and what Loises can arise from character creation.

Next time: Let's make a character!

Cyphoderus fucked around with this message at 19:55 on Nov 6, 2013

Drakyn
Dec 26, 2012



Fossilized Rappy posted:


The First Ones
The First Ones, also referred to as the First Nations in other parts of the book, are discussed in chapter 4 in a similar manner to the Uropans, with the statement of “here’s a generic view of them, go see specifics in chapter 2 if you want more details on a specific nation”. The chapter notes that the First Ones aren’t really all that different from Uropans – they have a social ladder (albeit one that has a bit less layers to it), traditional gender roles, commerce, war, and both political and religious leaders. Even the First Ones’ Spirit World has a direct analog to the Uropan world of the Faerie. There are, of course, differences, however, which are noted in blurbs on First Ones religion, traditional games such as hubbub and puim, the translation of wampum and animal hides to Uropan coin currency, and the differences in town layout. It’s rather clinical and there’s nothing really all that objectionable or racist on either the “noble savage” or “feral inferior” sides of that scale.
Shoot, between this, Reign, and the WoD book on the Holocaust my entire perception of RPG writers has been shaken to some sort of semi-core. It's like they're real people or something.
That said, good lord you weren't kidding about the pointlessness of the alt-history country renamings. Like, I can sort of see doing things like 'kelt' and 'francais' because they're so obvious that they inherently make the distinction of "these are obvious analogues of these countries, they are NOT exactly those countries," but then they go and don't even bother changing half the names.

Glagha
Oct 13, 2008

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
AAAAAAaaAAAaaAAaAA
AAAAAAAaAAAAAaaAAA
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AaAAaaA
AAaaAAAAaaaAAAAAAA
AaaAaaAAAaaaaaAA



Cyphoderus posted:

Develop poison glans.


I know what you meant, but it is Japan after all.

Cyphoderus
Apr 21, 2010

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


Glagha posted:


I know what you meant, but it is Japan after all.

Ooops! Corrected. Haha, goddamn.

Now's maybe a good time to mention that there are zero creepy things about Double Cross. Not much to go all "Japan! " over.

Cyphoderus fucked around with this message at 20:04 on Nov 6, 2013

JohnOfOrdo3
Nov 7, 2011

My other car is an asteroid


Cyphoderus posted:

Ooops! Corrected. Haha, goddamn.

Now's maybe a good time to mention that there are zero creepy things about Double Cross. Not much to go all "Japan! " over.

I love this game more and more with every new thing I learn about it. That class selection is fantastic, everybody gets to feel cool, powerful and likely very useful in a fight. I really like the sound of Orcus, the idea of having a wall eat someone fills my mind with glee.

GimmickMan
Dec 27, 2011



DX is pretty interesting stuff so far. Can't wait until we get to the 'roll or choice' bits.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




Indeed. DX seems like a 90s-style "dark conspiracy superheroes" game that is good.

Traveller
Jan 6, 2012

WHIM AND FOPPERY



Wraith is and but this book takes it to another level. drat.

Snorb
Nov 19, 2010


I gotta say, I'm liking Double Cross's power selection more than, say, what's available in various World of Darkness games. Syndromes feel like they're something similar to X-Men meets Shin Megami Tensei. You're not locked into one particular path for your Syndromes as opposed to Tremere Thaumaturgy paths, as far as I can tell, so it looks like you can get a pretty broad selection of powers.

This may be me being bitter because we have one guy who runs Vampire in our group and he won't let any Tremere have Lure of Flames.

Amechra
Sep 9, 2012


All Bram Stoker makes me think of is Deadman Wonderland. And that is wonderful.

citybeatnik
Mar 1, 2013

You Are All
WEIRDOS





One of the things I always had a hard time with Wraith was wrapping my head around the, well, time difference - could you be one of the Resistance fighters with starting stats? Would you be folded in as one of the recently dead if you died near the Ghetto from unrelated causes?

What I'm trying to say is that after reading that blurb I want to play the gently caress out of Wraith but I haven't the foggiest how to get started or where to find a group.

Cyphoderus
Apr 21, 2010

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




On retrospect, this should've gone at the end of last update. Oh well, it's never too late. Give it up for

DOUBLE CROSS

Part II.5 - Quick Start Characters


Double Cross does not shy away from genre cliches and tropes. On the contrary, it embraces them. This is made clear when you examine the selection of character templates you can pick for Quick Start character creation.

These are only the very broad high concept, plus a filled-in character sheet. You only have to flesh them out with Personal Data and you're done. Here are the Quick Start character templates:

Wild Card
You're a regular guy... you try to get through high-school, making friends and liking girls. Until the point where everything changed, and now you're thrown head-first into this world of madness, of violence, of duty imposed on you by people you've never met before. You are now a Renegade. What are you gonna do about it? If this were a shonen series, you would be the main character.
Work and Cover: High-school student
Pure-breed Chimera.

Speeding Bullets
Most people awaken as Overeds as teenagers and young adults. You didn't. You've been an Overed since you can remember. As a child Renegade, you were taken in by the UGN. The UGN's methods are not made clear: we don't know if they search orphanages or take children away from parents or what. One way or another, you've been trained as an agent since the earliest of ages. You blend in with society, but the only life you really know is work and duty and the UGN and the Renegade.
Work: UGN Child; Cover: High-school student
Tri-breed Angel Halo, Morpheus and Neumann

Noble Blood
You have a duty, and a fate: you are in this world to protect those weaker than you. That's what you've been taught and what you have always believed. When the Renegade awoke in you, well... let's say your sense of duty only grew stronger. You were recruited by the UGN, but you are so competent and loyal that you quickly rose through the ranks and became a branch chief, despite your age. You'll do whatever it takes to defend the innocent.
Work: UGN Branch Chief; Cover: High-school student
Cross-breed Bram Stoker and Exile.

Evergreen Apostle
A respected UGN agent with a good background and a promising career ahead of you. You fight the False Hearts and the Renegade when they show themselves. You had everything figured out... until that pesky little seed of doubt was planted in your chest. You've heard a rumour that the UGN founder has joined False Hearts. Is this true...? Are you sure you work for the good guys? Either way, you try to live your life and do your job as best as you can.
Work and Cover: UGN Agent
Cross-breed Orcus and Solaris.

Truth Seeker
You're a private investigator obsessed with the truth of things. You always were. Now that you're an Overed, this obsession only grew. You now know how deep the rabbit-hole goes, how much stuff goes on in the world that most people have no idea about. Even now, no one's sure what really goes on with the UGN and False Hearts and the Renegade. You will find out.
Work and Cover: Private Investigator
Cross-breed Black Dog and Hanuman.

Defender of Dreams
Things don't have much of a point when there's the Renegade around, do they? I mean, before, you had your dreams, your life goals. Now they're kind of pointless. Why practice sports when there is the Hanuman Syndrome? Why study math when there's Neumann? Why anything? You are lost. But just because you are lost, it doesn't mean others have to be. Your dream now, your new dream, is to protect the dreams of others.
Work: Artist; Cover: High-school student
Cross-breed Angel Halo and Salamandra.

Vermilion Blade
Another UGN Child. You were raised by the UGN as an agent since childhood, and you survived while other didn't. But you aren't dumb, and you haven't been tricked by the UGN's brainwashing. You know the organisation inside out, and you know all that is good and all that is wicked about it. You don't have a normal life, but you don't want one. You are not a blind cow serving the UGN, but you aren't interested in joining False Hearts. You do your thing, mostly.
Work: UGN Child; Cover: High-school student
Cross-breed Morpheus and Salamandra.

The Idealist
You've worked for the UGN for a long time. You know how bad it is. You know how easy it is to look down on regular people, to think like a False Hearts agent. But you are a branch chief, and you are in charge of the new generation of Overeds. More people are awakening all the time now, and it is your duty to teach them how things work. To put them in the right path. That's something only you, with your accumulated knowledge, can do.
Work and Cover: UGN Branch Chief
Pure-breed Orcus.

Purple Lightning
You are an Overed... But others don't have to be. It's not worth it. However, you don't want out. You know you need the Renegade now. You need power to survive your world, and fight. You need to fight for the freedom of others, so they don't have to walk the same path that you do.
Work and Cover: UGN Agent
Tri-breed Black Dog, Hanuman and Neumann.

Reaper's Hand
The classical delinquent with a heart of gold. You don't care for society, especially the more hypocritical side of it. In turn, it shuns you, calls you a criminal. You solve your problems with your fists, and you don't give a drat about nothing. But if there's something you can't stand, it's people taking advantage of the weak. It makes you want to renovate their asses.
Work and Cover: Delinquent
Cross-breed Chimera and Exile.

Shining Void
You are fascinated by the Renegade, and the gamble it proposes: die, or use me. Use me sparingly, or become a monster. This entire conundrum fascinates you, and you are powerless to resist your urge to study the Renegade and find out everything about it.
Work and Cover: Researcher
Pure-breed Solaris.

Bloody Bullet
Being a cop is tough. You have to deal with crime up-close, and all your fantasies about the world crumble down when faced with the harsh reality of the streets. Being an Overed cop is so much worse. It's happening all over again: the way you think the world works, it's all falling apart when faced with this new world of superhumans, secret organisations and conspiracies. You try to make the best of it.
Work and Cover: Detective
Cross-breed Bram Stoker and Morpheus.

World Hunter
You're a walking contradiction. Your day job is being a journalist, bringing the truth to the eyes of the public. Your other job is being an Overed, and making sure the truth doesn't reach the eyes of the public. But you can manage your two jobs. You are a vessel of information, and you control how and when people learn about things. The world will learn about the Renegade. When the time is right.
Work and Cover: Journalist
Cross-breed Balor and Black Dog.

Ruby Eyes
As much as humans seek to learn about the Renegade virus, so does the Renegade seek to learn about humanity. How, you ask? Through you. You are a Renegade Being. The link that bridges the gap between virus and mankind. The virus is ever-evolving, and you are its latest manifestation. Hiding among the humans, you observe, and learn.
Work: Renegade Being; Cover: Elementary school student
Tri-breed Balor, Bram Stoker and Angel Halo

You might have noticed something special about the last one there, Ruby Eyes. Yes, Renegade Beings are living, walking raw manifestations of the virus. They are very, very special and will get an update for their own.

AccidentalHipster
Jul 5, 2013

Whadda ya MEAN ya never heard of Dan Brereton?


I actually bought DX last night and I'm still waiting for it to come in the mail. The write-up so far is making me very happy with my decision. I am curious about a few things though. First, is the Martial Artist/Librarian example correct? Because the way you describe it, it seems that Martial Artist should be the cover. Second, would it be alright if we suggested characters to make? Because I kinda want to see if I could make Santana (the Pillar Man, not the band) in this system.

AccidentalHipster fucked around with this message at 22:44 on Nov 6, 2013

MonsieurChoc
Oct 12, 2013

Every species can smell its own extinction.


citybeatnik posted:

One of the things I always had a hard time with Wraith was wrapping my head around the, well, time difference - could you be one of the Resistance fighters with starting stats? Would you be folded in as one of the recently dead if you died near the Ghetto from unrelated causes?

What I'm trying to say is that after reading that blurb I want to play the gently caress out of Wraith but I haven't the foggiest how to get started or where to find a group.

IIRC, there's a merit or background in the Player's Guide to be a really old ghost. Doesn't make you stronger, because it's not because you've had more time to improve yourself that you actually took the time to do it, but it gives you a benefit based on how loving long you've been around. Unlike, say, vampires who would become really powerful when older, most wraiths just keep hanging around, so there is literally no limit to how old your character would be.

I never managed to get a game of Wraith going, but I did run a few successful one-shots. You really need players who are game for it though. And then there's the unfair advantage of not everyone having the same roleplaying skills, so that some Shadows become stronger simply because they're played by people who are better at loving with someone else's mind.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011


I am in love with double cross. You can spit out the guyver as a starting character. This is wonderful.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



And it looks like you can convert the setting to something like Tiger & Bunny, or classic X-Men if you don't want to play secret agents. Man, I hope this gets an official English release like TBZ and Ryuutama

EDIT: Oh there is an English book! Will order when I can get the funds.

Robindaybird fucked around with this message at 02:37 on Nov 7, 2013

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Did DX use the name Solaris from the Tarkovsky film?

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Young Freud posted:

Did DX use the name Solaris from the Tarkovsky film?

It directly credits the novel Solaris as the source of the name. So almost!

AccidentalHipster
Jul 5, 2013

Whadda ya MEAN ya never heard of Dan Brereton?


Cyphoderus posted:

It makes you want to renovate their asses.

I'm kind of ashamed that I didn't notice this until now. That really is one of the better lines from the best party member.

citybeatnik
Mar 1, 2013

You Are All
WEIRDOS





MonsieurChoc posted:

IIRC, there's a merit or background in the Player's Guide to be a really old ghost. Doesn't make you stronger, because it's not because you've had more time to improve yourself that you actually took the time to do it, but it gives you a benefit based on how loving long you've been around. Unlike, say, vampires who would become really powerful when older, most wraiths just keep hanging around, so there is literally no limit to how old your character would be.

I never managed to get a game of Wraith going, but I did run a few successful one-shots. You really need players who are game for it though. And then there's the unfair advantage of not everyone having the same roleplaying skills, so that some Shadows become stronger simply because they're played by people who are better at loving with someone else's mind.

My one experience of Wraith was set in Victorian London during the issues with the Broadstreet Pump and it was -awesome-, which only makes my own inabilities to get in to the game that much more of a heartbreaker.

Orpheus, meanwhile, can go gently caress itself.

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That Old Tree
Jun 23, 2012

nah




Hey so I made a site to put F&F reviews on both in case of thread archiving, to make them a bit easier to read (site formatting aside) and to allow them to be read despite the paywall. It is currently sparse, but I can copy-paste with the best of them. I am interested in getting permission from reviewers, though I can also abandon all my heroic work in the face of stern disapproval. Suggestions and pointers on how to make things look better or more readable are also a plus.

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