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MonsieurChoc
Oct 12, 2013

Every species can smell its own extinction.




Instead of continuing Charnel Houses like I should, I've been reading my copy of Over the Edge that arrived yesterday. Reading old posts in this thread is what made me buy it, and so far I'm not disappointed. It's the first game I've read that I feel I could run games inspired by Suda 51's work in them. It seems like Killer 7 would just fit right in with all the weirdness in Al Amarja.

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Cyphoderus
Apr 21, 2010

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


unseenlibrarian posted:

Not legally- my understanding is that the licensing terms for the game prevent any kind of electronic release. Which suggests mainly that they need to get the TBZ guys to negotiate a license for them next time, since Tenra Bansho Zero is by the same publisher and a pdf version of it didn't have any issues.
Not exactly. TBZ and DX are from the same publisher, yes, but they're considered separate products, with separate policies. The PDF license for DX is simply way tougher to get than TBZ. The people doing the translations are still actively trying hard to get it, but no success thus far.

Halloween Jack posted:

If anyone's planning to run it on the forums, how would you? I don't know how to run an online game of something not widely available and I wouldn't want to pirate a game that's not free or OOP.
I would certainly use the Quick Start character templates. They come mostly pre-built, and Personal Data is a matter of rolling on random tables. I don't see a problem in giving to players the game data for the sample characters.

Humbug Scoolbus posted:

DX has great examples of play and character creation. Some of the dialogue is hysterical.

I don't know what you-

Double Cross posted:

GM: The man has stopped running and now has a faint smile on his face. He says, "I don't want to waste time on you, kid. I'm just going to finish you off." The man crouches and spreads his arms in a battle stance.

Keigo: I've been ready for battle. Come and see the grin of a predator.

Cyphoderus fucked around with this message at 00:53 on Nov 10, 2013

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

DX has great examples of play and character creation. Some of the dialogue is hysterical.

Libertad!
Oct 30, 2013

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

Alien Rope Burn posted:

I certainly wouldn't review those books. It's fine if other people do, but I have no idea how you people stand it.

Hell, I don't know RPGNow puts up with it. Callousness? Ignorance? Hosting and collecting a percentage on this stuff is pretty gross.

Money, baby. Shane O'Connor on Drive-Thru RPG helped advertise Sisters of Rapture (a D20 sex book) on the site several years ago. It's basically has a lot of gross sex stuff, but unlike Black Tokyo it's dressed up as sex-positive feminism and doesn't have tentacle rape.

Also, Chris Field's D20 Modern Abortion book is sold in PDF form on Paizo's online store.

So I think a lot of it is that nerds are non-confrontational and avoid criticism of each other.

Or they just don't care anymore.

Libertad! fucked around with this message at 01:08 on Nov 10, 2013

Cyphoderus
Apr 21, 2010

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



DOUBLE CROSS

Part IV - Character Construction


This time we'll go through the Construction method of character creation, to showcase the more mechanical aspects of all the elements of a character we've been talking about.

The first thing about an Overed you need to decide is the Breed. This determines how many Syndromes you manifest. There are three different Breeds:

Pure: You manifest one single Syndrome. Your powers with this Syndrome can become more powerful than any other Overed's - you can level them up further. Additionally, you get access to unique, Pure-breed-exclusive powers.

Cross-Breed: You manifest two Syndromes. This is the most common type of Overed, judging by the sample characters presented in the book. You can pick any power offered by your Syndromes, except for the Pure-exclusive ones.

Tri-Breed: Despite the Renegade being around for something like 20 years, only recently in the past couple of years have these Overeds cropped up. You manifest three Syndromes. Out of these, one is selected as a Sub-Syndrome.
A Tri-Breed is more limited in their selection of powers compared to a Cross-Breed, and a little bit more so when it comes to their Sub-Syndrome.
You could have awakened with three Syndromes, but some Overeds have been Cross-Breeds for a while only to suddenly manifest a third Syndrome.

The next major thing you have to decide is your Work and Cover. The difference between the two is subtle. Objectively, Work gives you stats, while Cover is purely for flavour. I like to think of it this way: Cover is the role you play in society, while Work is the thing you know how to do. Work: Martial Artist and Cover: Movie Star would be Bruce Lee.

Work is picked from a rather big list. The list runs the freaking gamut: we start at elementary school student, go through high-schooler and UGN child, to UGN agent, UGN branch chief, mercenary, nurse, doctor, researcher... There are lots of unexpected choices, as well. How about being, to say it exactly as the book does, a house husband/wife? Night entertainer? Fortune teller? Stage magician?

The easiest way to pick Cover is pick the same thing as your Work. You can play with it, however. Cover is freeform, go wild with it.

Time to calculate our Stats. These are based on your Breed and Syndrome. Each Syndrome has a base line of Stats. For instance, Morpheus gives Body 1, Sense 2, Mind 0 and Social 1. If you're a Pure-Breed, double the baseline and you're done. For Cross-Breeds, add together the baselines of your two Syndromes. For Tri-Breeds, do the same, ignoring your Sub-Syndrome.

Each Work gives a bonus +1 to one stat. Forensics Officer gives Mind +1. Singer gives Sense +1. Driver gives Body +1, and so on. You get another 3 bonus points to put wherever you want them.

It's very common to see characters with very unbalanced stats. The very first sample character, supposed to be the iconic "main character" type, has Body 8, Sense 1, Mind 1 and Social 1. As a rule, the more focused you are, the more unequal is your stat distribution.

At this point you also determine Hit Points and Initiative. They work exactly as expected. HP follows explicitly the model of will to fight and mental fortitude as well as physical injury resistance. As such, the Mind stat factors in its calculation.

There's also Move and Dash, which determine how far you can move in battle with a minor or major action, respectively. It's worth remembering that, despite these being measured in meters*, the battle system is not grid-based and actual distance measurements don't play a mechanical role. These interact with the battle system, but this is not a miniatures game.
* Thankfully. Finally, a sensible RPG!

Now we get to pick Powers. Every Overed starts with three powers: Ressurrection, the genre-mandatory "get up after you were severely beaten down" effect; Concentrate, which improves chances of critical hits in battle; and Warding, which incapacitates all non-Overeds in the region.

Other than that, you get to choose four powers among your Syndromes. The only restrictions are those applied by your Breed, and they aren't very big, so for the most part you can go wild on your power selection.

The very next update is dedicated entirely to powers, so I'm not elaborating on them too much right now. Rest assured, by the end of this you'll have gotten to know a lot about them.

We still have Skills left. These are chiefly determined by your Work. A few choice examples:
Work: Mafia gives you Ride 2, Ranged 1, Procure 1, Negotiation 1, and Info: Underworld 1.
Work: Nurse gives you Perception 1, Will 1, Knowledge 2, Negotiation 1, and Info: Academics 1.
Work: Grade school student gives you Perception 2, Will 1, Renegade Control 1, and Info: Rumours 1.
As always, for Ride, Knowledge, and Art, you have to pick a specialty. Every Work gives you at least one level in Info, but these come with pre-set specialties.

You have 5 free points to distribute among any skills you want. Each point spent in Ride, Art, Knowledge or Info gives you 2 points in the skill.
It's also very common to see character who lack many skills, i.e. have them at 0. This doesn't mean they can't use those skills, only that they have no bonus in them. It's like having a +0 bonus in D&D.



The Gear System

Double Cross doesn't track wealth. It assumes every character is well off enough to function in society. Instead, DX has an abstract acquisition system.

The first element of which are your Stock points. They are based on your Social stat and your Procure skill. They're points you use to "purchase" stuff at the beginning of sessions. These items are considered stocked, and if you lose them during the session, they come back at the beginning of the next one.

The other element of the system is the Procure skill. If you want to get something during the session that you didn't stock, you roll to... Procure it. Each item has a Procure difficulty. Beat it, you get the thing. The thing doesn't last beyond the current session, unless you spend your Stock points to make it permanent.

Stock points that go unspent at the beginning of the session become Savings. You can spend Savings during the session for bonuses to your Procure roll.

There you have it, the gear system of DX. I like it. It's not about wealth, but about power to get things. A high Stock and Procure can mean material wealth, yes, but it can also as easily mean smart shopping, stealing, scavenging, and guilt-tripping people into giving you stuff.

Starting Stock points vary wildly among characters. The sample characters in the book range from 2 to 14 Stock. To give you guys an idea:
A cellphone costs 0 Stock.
A katana costs 3 Stock.
A 9mm handgun costs 6 Stock, as well as a bulletproof vest.
A bicycle costs 1 Stock, a regular car costs 8, a helicopter costs 20.

One of the coolest thigs DX does is classify connections as items. Which means at the start of the session you spend your Stock points to have access to various informants and contacts, who give you a bonus to a specific check once per session.
A rumour-mongering friend gives you +2 to a single Info: Rumour check. A Hacker does the same for Info: Web. A fencer helps you Procure stuff; a specialist aids in a Knowledge check. And so on. I just find it really amusing that I can buy gossip at character creation.

And this is where Construction of a character ends.

Full Scratch

The Full Scratch method of character creation means you get to taylor-make your character to your liking; you get a set of experience points and you use them to customise the things mentioned in this update. It's the GURPS alternative.

And there you have it. We've seen pretty much everything there is to see about a DX character sheet. What's left are powers. Next update, we'll take a look at how they work, while giving plenty of examples to wet your appetite. And also how power combos work. Yes, you can declare multiple powers at the same goddamn time. Ever feel like sprouting claws and imbuing them with fire and moving at super-sonic speed all at once? Now you can!

So please tune in next time as we learn about powers and combos!

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Libertad! posted:

Money, baby. Shane O'Connor on Drive-Thru RPG helped advertise Sisters of Rapture (a D20 sex book) on the site several years ago. It's basically has a lot of gross sex stuff, but unlike Black Tokyo it's dressed up as sex-positive feminism and doesn't have tentacle rape.

Also, Chris Field's D20 Modern Abortion book is sold in PDF form on Paizo's online store.

So I think a lot of it is that nerds are non-confrontational and avoid criticism of each other.

Or they just don't care anymore.

It's funny because Chris Fields is a Pathfinder licensee; he just avoids putting the Pathfinder label on his (more) gross stuff as far as I've seen. Mind, not that the Pathfinder license is well-policed, because as far as I can tell, it isn't at all. I considered submitting my Pathfinder review for the license for shits when I was reading it, but opted not to because I didn't want to drag SA into what would basically be me just trolling Paizo.

With RPGNow / Drive-Thru, the issue is that there's a near-monopoly there, so it's not easy to just take my business elsewhere if I still want PDF-only releases

Libertad!
Oct 30, 2013

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

Alien Rope Burn posted:

It's funny because Chris Fields is a Pathfinder licensee; he just avoids putting the Pathfinder label on his (more) gross stuff as far as I've seen. Mind, not that the Pathfinder license is well-policed, because as far as I can tell, it isn't at all. I considered submitting my Pathfinder review for the license for shits when I was reading it, but opted not to because I didn't want to drag SA into what would basically be me just trolling Paizo.

With RPGNow / Drive-Thru, the issue is that there's a near-monopoly there, so it's not easy to just take my business elsewhere if I still want PDF-only releases

Yeah, Paizo did enforce quality control once with the The Bestiary of GOP: Grand Ol' Predators. It wasn't a bad book, but it was portraying right-wing Presidential candidates as evil monsters to be slain, so they were told to drop the Pathfinder Compatible logo from their product.

It wasn't what I'd call a bad product, mind you, but since it involved political commentary Paizo reacted.

Further conversation on this might be better to take to another thread, or PM when I eventually upgrade my account (which might not be in some time).

Libertad! fucked around with this message at 01:41 on Nov 10, 2013

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.

The Double Cross chargen stuff makes me want to see a House Husband/Stage magician. Either Work/Cover or Cover/Work; either way the dude will just hang around the house, watching the kids in a tuxedo and keeping them out of trouble with card tricks. Cleaning the rug by pulling it out from under the furniture without disturbing it! Etc.

The landlord comes up to his wife, all concerned "Is your husband entirely well? Because he just paid the rent by pulling coins out from behind my ear, one after the other."

AccidentalHipster
Jul 5, 2013

Whadda ya MEAN ya never heard of Dan Brereton?


While I'm waiting for Majuju to get to get to d20 Modern's Skills and Feats so that I can continue my Naruto write-up (sorry if I'm putting you on the spot pal) I'm considering doing a write-up of another game. Tenra Bansho Zero (cyberpunk/high fantasy feudal Japan) comes to mind because I love that game and it deserves more attention. I'm also considering Dungeons: The Dragoning (40k+Exalted+D&D+WoD+Mass Effect=) because I love that game and it deserves to have a finished review. Or I could dredge up Strike Legion (super soldiers fighting Imperial hordes IN SPAAAAACE!) from my hard drive and give it a crack (that one would be semi-blind though). If the thread really wants me to (or I get bored enough) I'll start one, but I'd like to know which I should do.

Libertad!
Oct 30, 2013

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

Dragonlance: Key of Destiny Adventure Path



Introduction

For my first FATAL & Friends review, so I've decided I'd pick an adventure I have lots of experience DMing, with plenty of fond (and not so fond) memories. Basically, in the early era of 3.5, Wizards of the Coast granted permission to Sovereign Press to make Dragonlance sourcebooks as 3rd Party Supplements. The main book proper (Dragonlance Campaign Setting) is a WotC property, but the rest are the work of Sovereign Press, Cam Banks, and other hardcore Dragonlance fans. A lot of the game mechanics were... questionably balanced, at best. But it was notable for updating the original Chronicles to 3rd Edition format, D20 stats for Kender , creating an entirely new Adventure Path set in Dragonlance's 5th Age at a time before Pathfinder started cranking them out monthly, and Legends of the Twins, an excellent sourcebook discussing time travel and parallel realities for campaigns (kind of like those Alternate Earths in superhero comics).

Basically, the Key of Destiny Adventure Path is a series of 3 books (Key of Destiny, Spectre of Sorrows, Price of Courage) where the player characters (the heroes of the story) discover a priceless elven music box, the Key of Quinari. Created in the distant past of the Age of Dreams for the benefit of dragonkind, Quinari led the spirits of fallen dragons to their resting place with her song. After her death her lullaby was preserved in this music box, it's true purpose forgotten over time to become a childhood nursery rhyme among the Silvanesti nobility. After coming into possession of it, the heroes are led along by a series of vague prophecies, wise women and soothsayers, and the machinations of Ansalon's major evil factions to discover the Key's true purpose.

The adventure overall is good, but I don't think it's aged particularly well. It has a lot of interesting locations along the way, a retinue of cool villains opposing the PCs (including a lich leading an army, a genocidal Dragon Overlord, and a lovelorn ghost elf out for revenge), and memorable fleshed-out NPCs. But on the other hand, it makes assumptions that the PCs will go along with the plot on the flimsiest pretenses, and the myriad problems of high-level combat in 3rd Edition really start to show in the latter 2 books. Still, I feel that the positives of the books deserve to be shown, and I hope that you enjoy reading this as much as I did running it.

Adventure Prologue: The Sylvan Key

Our introductory adventure is notable for being in the Campaign Setting book and not the Key of Destiny proper. It starts out in the frontier city of Pashin in the nation of Khur, where the Silvanesti Elves were forced northward by a minotaur invasion along with the Dark Knights (who were betrayed by the minotaurs). Under the control of the Dark Knights, Pashin is not a friendly area for the elven refugees, who are all forced... somewhere, and the riches and valuables of Silvanesti's cities are being sold and traded by opportunists. Even though the town is effectively under military occupation, there is a breakdown in the discipline and morale among the Knights' ranks. Pegrin, a dark knight deserter, managed to smuggle the Key of Quinari out from the elves' royal palace and is now camping a fair distance outside of Pashin. The PCs are given several hooks as to why they'd be in the area (former Dark Knight, refugee, etc), typical stuff.

The adventure's first encounter, Afflicted and Persecuted, involves a group of drunken louts accosting Kelwick and Mayleaf, a Kender father and his daughter, accusing them of theft. They're innocent of his accusation; in fact, they're Afflicted Kender, robbed of their childlike wonder and insatiable need to steal due to trauma, and the thugs really just want to shake them down (who'd believe a Kender?). If the PCs don't intervene, the men will attack, only to be broken up by the city watch. If the PCs help defend Mayleaf, Kelwick will offer to help them out in the future.


As a first encounter, its effectiveness will depend mostly on whether or not your players really hate Kender, but it's obvious that the PCs should give them a helping hand and I think it will work for most groups (it did for mine). It's not really connected to the rest of the adventure, more of a way to show off how desperate things are in Pashin. Unfortunately there are no stats for Kelwick and the city guards, meaning that the DM will need to improvise.

The next encounter, Enter the Herald, happens whenever the PCs are in a large public gathering or inn. Word spreads fast around town that the legendary bard, the Herald, is visiting. His tales are both legendary and eerily accurate, possessing knowledge of Ansalon's most notable battles and heroes. Normally I don't go much for boxed text, but I feel in this instance it's pretty great.



quote:

The Herald is a human male in his mid-sixties, with white hair and a trim beard. He speaks with an Abanasinian accent, gesturing delicately and hushing the gathered crowd.

"I am known as the Herald. The memories of Krynn are mine to know and share. In my dreams I have lived many other lives, I have led men into the battle on the sides of both good and evil, I have fought dragonback and wielded the mighty dragonlance. I have lived, love, and died a thousand times. This eve, I will share some of my tales with you.

The crowd begins to shout. "Tell of Human! Tell of Raistlin and the Dark Queen! Tell of Lord Ariakan's fall among the minions of Chaos!" A steely gaze from the Herald silences the crowd once more.

"I have another story for you this evening," the Herald intones. "I shall tell you this day of a young girl named Mina and of a great war, one fought not over control of Krynn but of the souls of its people.

Basically the Herald tells of the War of Souls. It was the last major event in the Dragonlance book series, where Takhisis (Tiamat in other campaign settings) stole the world away from the other Gods and became the sole major divine power. The cosmological shift ended up adjacent to an alien world full of titanic dragons (the smallest are bigger than the eldest wyrms of ours), and five Dragon Overlords came through and conquered much of the continent. Mina was a gifted priestess of Takhisis, who led battles against the Overlords (who were not very fond of Takhisis).

This is a good way, I think, of informing the PCs of the world's recent history, and delivering it via a noted storyteller makes it flow well into the game. Unfortunately, the Herald is biased against the Dark Knights (who served under Mina) and presents them in an unfavorable light. The crowd gets increasingly angry at the Herald, booing and slinging mud and eventually turning violent into an all-out bar brawl.

This encounter, like the Kender one, is also "beginner level," where the patrons attack with their fists (non-lethal) and there's very low chance of PC death. It (and the first encounter) also acts a way for DMs to see whether or not they're meddlesome heroes who can't keep their noses out of trouble. The adventure path is banking on this option, as it rewards PCs for acting altruistically both in terms of game mechanics (experience bonus) and "role-playing" (favors, grateful NPCs, etc).

If the PCs managed to subdue enough patrons (about 6) and/or protect the Herald from danger, the grateful bard is shocked once he sees the PCs' faces. Basically he came to town to deliver an important message he had in a dream, that a key meant for them has fallen into the wrong hands. He explains that it's a valuable elven artifact stolen by Pegrin, a former Dark Knight and disreputable man who will doubtlessly abuse it if it is not taken back.

This is the first of several "it came to me in a dream" sequences from important NPCs. Unfortunately this one comes out of left field and does not really impart much in the way of useful information for the PCs. Are we really supposed to trust a guy's dream? If the PCs don't immediately head out, then one of Pegrin's men will steal something from the PCs, preferably while they're asleep or at the inn. Do you hear the sound of that? It sounds like a choo-choo train! All aboard the railroad!

Regardless, the Herald has learned his lesson and only spins good, positive tales of the Dark Knights from now on in Pashin. For a legendary bard, he sure isn't good at reading his audience.

Pegrin's camp can be found with the help of Kelwick, or gathering information around town. It's a sudden and unexpected increase in difficulty for 1st-level PCs.



I don't think those measurements are to scale...

See all those tents? The 3 Fs are Two-Men Tents, As are standard sentries, and B are night sentries, for a total of 6 bandits. They're all 1st level warriors with Toughness and maximum hit points, and can be quite a challenge. Add to that Pegrin being a 2nd-level Barbarian, a sorcerer for hired help (who's a teenager and has low morale), and a second in command with a Rogue level and you've got 9, count'em 9 potential enemies all at once. Obviously discretion is the better part of virtue, and if their leaders (Pegrin and the Rogue) aren't killed they'll doubtlessly come looking for the PCs if they steal the Key. Pegrin himself is a tough man who can hit hard when raging (+8 to-hit with longsword, 1d8+7 damage), and the sorcerer has a scroll of sleep. When I ran the session I either had to tone down the opposition or encourage hit-and-run stealth tactics. A mostly-warrior party short on sneaky types and spellcasters will fare far worse here.

If the heroes manage to subdue Pegrin's men and get the Key (along with some other treasure), they'll find it a delicately crafted music box which the Herald can confirm is what he dreamt of. When wound up it plays a song as the handcrafted woman performs a slow dance. Only Bardic Knowledge works on identifying it, revealing that it's supposed to guard something legendary. The music box itself is a receptacle, its true power known only when one can masterfully sing the melody themselves.





Thoughts so far: A rather short adventure which could be improved in parts, but given that it was added at the very end of the Campaign Setting book I figure they didn't have much to work with. It serves as a nice introduction to the setting and 3rd Edition Dungeons & Dragons. It takes some work in terms of adventure hooks and motivation, but nothing too major.

Next time, the Key of Destiny book proper

Libertad! fucked around with this message at 04:38 on Nov 10, 2013

Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

Or later, later's fine.
But now would be good.



AccidentalHipster posted:

Dungeons: The Dragoning (40k+Exalted+D&D+WoD+Mass Effect=) because I love that game and it deserves to have a finished review.
You know what you must do.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



It's a pity there's no English PDF - I really like what I've been seeing here from DX, but I don't really do physical books.

GorfZaplen
Jan 20, 2012



I'll drop the Black Tokyo review since so many people seem opposed to it. I guess I can find something else

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




GorfZaplen posted:

I'll drop the Black Tokyo review since so many people seem opposed to it. I guess I can find something else

I'm not opposed to it- horrifying stuff like that is why I read this thread.

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


Keep up the review, Gorf, there have been shitloads of reviews in these threads that have bored me to goddamn tears, but as long as they were entertaining someone, that's what matters. Not that they were boring to one person or a couple of people. Nor does the "notability" of a given work matter, if there's enough awesome/awful source material in there to make a funny post out of, post about it.

Ignore the couple of people who think that their personal tastes should be the ultimate set of rules for the thread as a whole.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Same here. I want to know more of Field's work so I can avoid making the same mistakes. I find him utterly fascinating in that he believes this is appropriate for publication.

That Old Tree
Jun 23, 2012

nah




I listen to the F plus, I watch Asylum films and I read grognards.txt.

I'm pretty sure I want you to keep telling me about Chris A. Field.

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


Legions v0.23(and v3.13), by Brett Nortje

With occasional asides, by the same maniac.

Preface: Who is Brett Nortje, and why should you give a gently caress about what he writes?

Brett Nortje first came to my attention when I found his manifesto, roughly a thousand rambling pages about everything from how to fight terrorism(tell them that terrorism doesn't make any sense and that they should get jobs, if that fails, "just make a car bulletproof and run them over" or blow them up with helicopters), to how to get rich(build a time machine, get gold from the past), to how to cure AIDS(eat salt, which will absorb all your blood, that has the AIDS in it, then poop out the salty AIDS-rocks, then drink water to recover your blood), to how to make dragons(take crocodile DNA, boil it so it expands, that will make the crocodile bigger, dragon-sized, then add in some wing DNA from a bat or something), written with nothing to indicate, at any point, that it's not serious. This guy is legitimately and utterly off his loving rocker.

In case anyone wants to read it for themselves.

Out of curiosity as to whether this maniac had a site or something with more of his hilarious crazy, his name was Googled... and it turned out he had more hilarious crazy. He had written RPGs. Versions 0.23 and 3.13 of "Legions," a campaign for same, something called Societal Games and a small booklet called "Sexcapades," all freely available as .PDF's(a further two RPG's by him, Pantera and Sepultura, both of which Legions promises us it is fully compatible with, I haven't been able to find.).

So... you know what? Let's begin. Let's see what maniacal ramblings lie hidden within Legions, v0.23

IT BEGINS

quote:

* * This game is for mature audiences. The content is very graphic and vivid because the team has run out of ideas that are warm and fuzzy. If you are a parent do not let your children read this, and if you are old enough to read you need a official identity booklet to read this. * *

Well, thanks for the warning, Brett. I was worried we might have to read something that wasn't for HARDCORE MATURE AUDIENCES.

We get the usual "what is roleplaying"-schpiel, though badly spelled and with mauled grammar, and in the middle of it, this:

quote:

This game is fully compatible with Pantera and Sepultura rules and characters. The characters in here are a lot more complex though, as, like I said, I have run out of new ideas that are simple, so we are left with this... game.

It's telling that even the author is hesitant when calling this thing a game.

Any rule that doesn't make sense may be ignored

We are dumped right the gently caress headfirst into chargen without even the vaguest knowledge of how the "game's" "system" works, and frankly, even after reading the whole thing, I only ever managed the "vague" level of knowledge. For stats we've got Physique, Reflexes and Senses as our "Phisical" trio. The Mental trio is Willpower, Intelligence(sometimes Intelligenz) and Wisdom("how much common sense your character has. Instaed of working with the porblem as
it is, you may add ideas form other areas to help with the problem." What the gently caress does this even MEAN?). Our three Spiritual stats are Intuition, Harmony and Charisma. Oh and then we have an absolute asswhack of twelve derived stats.

Stamina, Reaction, Judgment, Conscious, Morale, Poison, Medium, Ambush, Search, Social, Balance and Purity.

None of these are explained, at least not so far. For that matter we don't know what any of our "main" stats really do, either, all we know is that we have 50 points to split between them, that they're capped at 12, and that we can only raise them to a max of 10 at chargen.

quote:

The game master may overule any of these rules and make it more, well, obvious.

Combat is very important with this game. First thing I want to tell you about is action points. You get your action points by adding your reflexes to your wisdom. These points get used up as you do things. Here is a sample list of suggested action points uses...

To attack with a small weapon would cost three action points. To dodge would take five action points and make it harder for the opponent to hit you by as much as your dodge skill added to your reflexes. To attack with a medium weapon would cost five action points. To attack with a large weapon would take eight action points. To cast a spell would take five action points. To run forward a few meters would take three action points.

You get the idea I hope. Now the person with the most action points has their turn, until they no longer have the most action points, then the person with the most may go. If it is tied they may roll dice to see whose turn it is to go.To hit your opponent you need to roll under your reflexes added to your weapon skill, but you add any dodging to your dice roll as it makes it harder to hit them.

To use a skill simply roll under it and the associated statistic added together on a twenty sided dice with a roll of twenty always being a fail and a roll of one always being a pass.With physique characters do more damage with hand held weapons. For every three points of physique they deal an extra point of damage. When someone takes damage then they subtract the damage from their current health, but not their total health, as they may heal up again eventually.

Well, at least now we know how we try to kill people, even if we don't know any other goddamn thing.

Help! I have no dice! posted:

The dice may confuse you at first, and if you have never heard fo them, count all the numbers on them to see which is which - remember to check all sides of the dice to get all the numbers. In the case you have no dice simply roll a six sided dice three times for a twenty sided dice, or twice for a twelve sided dice, and subtract one from the roll for a four sided dice. But, heaven help, if you don't even have a six sided dice, use common sense or opposition. With opposition you consider all the factors of the test an then come to a logical math based conclusion.

I love that he wants us to find a "logical math-based conclusion," yet he doesn't seem to realize that three times six does not equal twenty, or that six minus one does not equal four.

Immediately after this actual interlude into the rules, we're dumped right back into the schizophrenic chargen section, with our class options: We can be a Swordsman, an Archer or a Magician. In the grand tradition of poo poo RPG's, the physical combat options just get bigger numbers for their physical combat as they level up, while the wizard starts off with a fistful of spells and gets to learn more as the game goes on.

Or does he? I can't tell. posted:

... magician may not learn any other types of spells after that. Each spell costs one point to buy and doubles the cost of the current level to raise it to another level, as per usual. The magician may learn new spells by spending ten adventure points to learn them after being created,

How the gently caress do you even manage to contradict yourself that fast?

But, you know, choosing our class is pretty fast and straightforward. But that's not all! Now we may choose to belong to a PATH, CHASTE(I think he means caste, but he keeps writing chaste all the time) or RACE. So of course the next section is none of these, because it's about choosing a species of animal. Some sort of totem animal thing, from the text, and I can't tell if this counts as a path, CHASTE or race. Or none of these.

I don't even posted:

There are many people that worship animals and recieve all sorts of benefits from this. It started as a very uncommon thing, and has now become a real trend. Typically villagers will be part of a clan or path, and children are initiated at thirteen years of age usually. Typically a species character has a tattoo of their path or clan placed on their body but hidden from view in casual clothing. Path or clan hatred includes characters and real animals. The species will be granted bonuses when they go up levels. All species may buy spheres with thier starting eight sphere points.

Also angels and fairies count as animals, apparently.

Next up: First I will list the good animals

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012






Kavak posted:

I'm not opposed to it- horrifying stuff like that is why I read this thread.

Yeah, I'm enjoying it too. I find this stuff hilarious.

quote:

to how to cure AIDS(eat salt, which will absorb all your blood, that has the AIDS in it, then poop out the salty AIDS-rocks, then drink water to recover your blood), to how to make dragons(take crocodile DNA, boil it so it expands, that will make the crocodile bigger, dragon-sized, then add in some wing DNA from a bat or something
Case in point.

I pity this man's biology teacher.

Kurieg fucked around with this message at 06:05 on Nov 10, 2013

Traveller
Jan 6, 2012

WHIM AND FOPPERY



Almogavers

But no ratcatchers, goddamn

It's on to character creation! We get a description of the character sheet, which is nice, then we are told how characters are defined by their stats and attributes. The stats are further divided in passive, active, physical and mental, with a total of six stats: Constitution (passive physical), Willpower (passive mental), Agility (active physical), Dexterity (active physical), Memory (active mental) and Perception (active mental). To generate these stats, roll 3d6, rerolling any dice that roll 1, and add the dice for a range of 6-18. The player chooses which stat gets the roll, but once a stat has a value fixed to it the player can't use another roll for it - except for the very last extra roll done after all the stats are rolled, which can be used to replace any stat at the player's choice. Attributes are also rolled in a similar way, but they use a different five-rank scale: Very Low, Low, Normal, High and Very High. There's a table for reference. The attributes are Strength, Size, Appearance and Charisma. Around 40% of people have Normal attributes, 20% are Low or High and 10% are Very Low or Very High.

Then the player notes down the character's initiative modifier, which is influenced by Agility, encumbrance and the armor they are wearing. As well, they note the character's damage modifier which is provided by the Strength attribute, and their damage capacity (hit points) that depends on their Size and Constitution. Damage capacity comes in three types: A (capacity/2 +2), B (capacity) and C (capacity*1.5) An average character has a damage capacity of 12 and a damage mod of 2d6, but I can't tell how bad (or good ) this is until I get to the combat chapter. The character's height and weight are given by their Size and damage capacity, with a little wiggle room for players to adjust - a Normal Size man is 1.65 m, for instance, and can raise or lower that in 10 cm. Characters also have Prestige, which begins at 0 and represents what others think of them. A high Prestige is necessary for certain positions, like army commander!


Bon cop de falē, bitch.

Now it gets interesting. First, the player can roll for (or straight up choose) the character's Origin. The options are:
  • Catalan: of course. You're a Catalan on a roll of 1-50, because dammit you're in the Catalan Company. The character can be a line Almogaver, or a trader, knight, sage, etc.
  • Greek: this character for some reason has joined the Almogavers or has a good relationship with them. The Greeks weren't particularly close to the Almogavers to begin with, but there were always exceptions.
  • French: this would be odd, as the French and Catalans were embroiled in the conflict over Sicily. This character is going to be a traitor to the French, an emissary for some French noble, or another similar reason to be agreed between player and GM.
  • Turkish: the Almogaver army had a group of Turkish mercenaries. This character could also be a trader, medic, or some other suitable profession working with the Almogavers for profit.
  • Alans: the Byzantine Army had a mercenary force of Alans from Thrace. They had a certain rivalry with the Almogavers, and some hated them enough that they would plan their operations separate from them so that they wouldn't have to march together, while some others happily served under Roger's command. This character is going to be a mercenary or some other similar profession.
  • Arab: these characters are going to come from Iberian Arab families, fully integrated with the Almogavers.
  • Venetian: the other trade power of the era along with the Catalan and the Genoese. It would make sense for Venetians to be foes, but due to their trade war with the Genoese they had a good relationship with the Catalans and were sometimes even allies (as long as they were against the Genoese)
  • Genoese: speaking of which! This would be an even stranger ally, because even though they were allies of the Byzantines, they hated the Almogavers to death. Then again, there might not be better place for a traitor to their people than among their own worst enemy.
  • Jewish: highly important in Middle Ages economy due to religious restrictions on interest lending. A Jewish character could be a moneylender, of course, but also a craftsman, soldier or peasant (as long as they were allowed to in the country they are, that is)

The next step is finding out their Social Class. These can be chosen by the player from Soldier, Burgher or Peasant, or rolled on the table. Only one roll and the result stands, but the player can potentially roll into the nobility! The social classes are:

  • High Noble: barons, counts and the like. The game assumes that a High Noble PC is the heir to one of these nobles, and has access to servants, soldiers under them, and so on.
  • Low Noble:: a noble of lesser rank. The PC could also be the nth child of some bigger noble. They don't get stuff as good as High Nobles, but they're still nobles. The character can trade their status for Burgher to represent a particularly wealthy burgher, or for Soldier and get the position of Adalid (captain, roughly) in compensation. In both cases, they still purchase gear as a Low Noble.
  • Soldier: men at arms, mercenaries, and other punchy/stabby dudes.
  • Burgher: from the wealthy trader or guildmaster to the peddler or small craftsman.
  • Peasant: farm laborer, shepherd and the like.


Swole and stabby.

The table restricts some classes depending on the character's Origin: for instance, Jewish characters cannot be nobles because, well, they're Jewish. As Greece is the focal point of the setting, only Catalan, Greek and Jewish characters can be Peasants, as verisimilitude is broken otherwise (how would peasants from other lands even get there? Nevermind that most line Almogavers were Catalan peasants and got there by ship...). Turkish and Arab nobles are also not a possibility as most people of those nationalities in Greece are traders or soldiers. Sure, whatever.

Then, the character chooses their Profession. No roll here, just pick up whatever, but the character's social class and origin restricts some choices.

  • Almogaver: seasoned warrior, proud of being part of the Company, of barbaric aspect but highly disciplined. Their hierarchy is democratic and promotions are by combat merit. Most are Catalan, of course, with some recruited from the places the Company travels through. Requires Soldier (or Peasant, if the character is Catalan)
  • Craftsman: the Company did not bring craftsmen along, they just bought or sourced what they needed along the way. They might have recruited some from time to time, but they would have to know how to defend themselves. The exact type of craftsman (blacksmith, weaver, etc.) has to be determined here, and we are told all craftsmen at this point in history were members of a guild, "with all the good and bad that it implies." Requires Burgher or Peasant.
  • Bandit: the easiest Profession for the warrior out of a job The Company gives a job to those that can fight, so it's not too farfetched to find a former bandit among their ranks. Requires Noble (someone who lost their fortune, maybe?), Soldier or Peasant.
  • Hunter: only nobles had the right to hunt in the Middle Ages. The exact nature of the hunter depends on their social class: if they're Noble, they're a noble with hunting as their favorite sport; if they're a Soldier, then they are huntsmen in the service of a noble; if they're a Peasant, they're a poacher.
  • Knight: all officers in a medieval army were knights. The position of adalid is considered to be equivalent (but in real life adalids and knights were different things) and this is what a Low Noble that trades in their status and becomes a Soldier ends up with. This Profession also includes those that fought under Roger de Flor (first Era) in cavalry units. Noble only.
  • Cleric: it's perfectly justifiable to have clerics serving in the Almogaver army, but they would have to be of humble origins. If they're of high social class, they could be confessors to some noble or members of the Church of Constantinople that follow the army for some reason, or missionaries as well. Monks make more sense in the third era. Requires Noble, Burgher or Peasant.
  • Trader: Catalan traders followed the Almogavers. There were also Venetian and Genoese traders, though of course the latter were a very rare sight among Almogavers. Requires Burgher (or Noble if the character is Venetian or Genoese)
  • Courtesan: an Almogaver courtesan would be hard to imagine, but then again there was Roger de Flor. They're easier to picture in the third era. Normally, they'll be Greek (first era) or French (second era) characters that follow the army representing the Imperial court or some important noble. Requires Noble.
  • Warrior: similar to Almogavers or Mercenaries, but this Profession represents the fighter that isn't just raised for one campaign or period of time, but serves under a lord for life. Obviously they need a lord (knight or noble) to serve under, and thus may end up fighting alongside the Almogavers. Requires Soldier.
  • Laborer: the most common Profession in the Middle Ages, "but here it's not logical that they continue to be laborers." Perhaps the character was a laborer, and joined the army as a slave, servant, or soldier. Requires Peasant.
  • Thief: this Profession is urban in nature, and thus the character needs to hail from one of the cities of the age (if it's Constantinople, the better) The game assumes the presence of a formal Thieves' Guild, a Greek "mob" with contacts among Venetians, Genoese, Catalans, Turks and other Muslim peoples. A Thief character passes themselves as another Profession, which is the one actually written on the character sheet for all to see. Other players may not know they are a Thief, it's just a secret between player and GM! This is also a good choice for spies. Requires Soldier or Burgher.
  • Minstrel: minstrels in the Middle Ages go from town to town and city to city, frequently visiting the courts of the places they pass by. It would be strange, but not unthinkable, for one of them to follow an army. Requires Noble, Burgher or Peasant.
  • Mercenary: equivalent to Almogaver, with the difference that this character is not part of the Catalan Company itself. Requires Soldier.
  • Medic: this may represent the stereotypical field medic that serves as surgeon and barber. They're supposed to be studied folk. Pay is low, but they can go anywhere (to treat diseases, honest!) and thus make good spies. Requires Burgher.
  • Shepherd: see Laborer. This character is easier to justify, as they can be a tracker or guide. Requires Peasant.
  • Moneylender: the stereotypical Jewish Profession. Very hard to find a reason for them marching along with an army, and they need to be based in a city. Easier to justify in the third era, when adventures are not as linked to army life. Requires Jewish Burgher.
  • Sage: this can be a scribe, advocate, notary, professor, alchemist... The exact type must be determined at this point. Sages may follow the army out of fidelity to a noble they advise and serve. The GM and player should reach an agreement over the reason why they are here. Alchemist Sages or Mage Sages that want a level of Initiate or superior in Magic should have played a solo adventure before the game (wait, magic? ) Requires Burgher.


gyahahahaha look at his face

Now it's time for Skills, Knowledges and Combat Techniques! Skills are physical abilities, relying on Dexterity and Agility; Knowledges are the things the character knows, and they are influenced by Memory and Perception; and Combat Techniques, which are defined in the Combat chapter (still relying on Dexterity and Agility, mind you). Abilities are rated in six Experience Levels: Ignorant, Neophyte, Apprentice, Initiate, Master and Grand Master. To buy them, the character needs Experience Points, which are at first dictated by their starting age. The game says that the older the character is the more XP they get, but they also begin losing stat points! We'll only bother with the XP for now, and we are recommended to use 27 years (180 points) as a baseline. Characters also get a number of free abilities based on their Profession, which also restricts buying some of them - try justifying why your Laborer knows Alchemy, for instance. No, seriously, try it, maybe the GM will let you do it. Or not! Characters also get starting languages depending on their origin: their native language starts at Initiate level and everyone gets Catalan at Apprentice level (Catalan characters get Greek instead), so everyone can talk with each other. The exact cost of raising a skill, knowledge or technique varies depending on its ruling stat, and it bears noting that there are sublevels as well starting from Neophyte, so a character needs to go through Neophyte-, Neophyte and Neophyte+ before they can become Apprentices. Spare XP can be banked for later use. Stats also limit the maximum level of an ability, with a minimum of 16 in a stat to reach Grand Master+.

We also get rules for getting old at this point. For every year over 35 the character has, make a Constitution roll with a difficulty of (Age-35)/5, round down. Failing this roll means losing one physical stat point, player's choice, and a disastrous failure means losing two points. Beyond 50 years old, the player may choose mental stats. Attributes may also be reduced, but they only ever go down one level.

Then it's on to money, gear and possessions! Whew, this has taken a while. For simplicity reasons, the game uses silver and gold coins: one gold = 20 silver. Characters roll 3d6 and reference a table: of course, nobles get more munneh, peasants get zilch. Possessions are determined next. Characters get a number of points to buy possessions that are determined by their social class (again, nobles get more) and they can then buy anything from weapons and armor to land and castles, if their class permits. Some assets they can buy come with an upkeep cost, while others actually make money for their owner. Characters must pay 1% of the total value of their lands and stuff in taxes at the end of the year, or lose 10% of their possessions. Spare points from this stage can be converted to silver coins at a 1:1 ratio. Finally, there is a gear list, with items rated as Common, Infrequent, Rare and Exotic: starting characters can only purchase Common and Infrequent items. In play, traders may sell stuff for 1d4 times their list price, so be wary!


Fat Bro wouldn't rip us off with his potions, would he?

To finish, there is an optional Personal History section. You can roll for your day and month of birth, and that can make you a Lucky or Unlucky person. Lucky characters get to reroll one roll per adventure, while Unlucky characters get one of their rolls per adventure rerolled by the GM. Characters can also get Destiny Points (Age-16) and use them to purchase positive, negative or neutral Events. Buying positive events must be balanced by buying negative events of the same value. Any Destiny Points not used at the end of this step are lost. Positive events can be stuff like Being Happily Married (+Charisma) or Killed An Enemy Leader In Combat (+1 Prestige), negative events can be things like Was Stuck In A Tiny Place As A Child (claustrophobia!) or Swore Fidelity To The Genoese (), and neutral events can be things like Having Siblings or Having A Dead Child (hey, no stat reductions or anything )

Characters gain XP by getting older (they get the points they would've gotten according to the table for every year they live) and by surviving adventures, which give them 2-8 points depending on the adventure's length. Characters may also train their abilities with teachers, who should have the ability at a greater level than them. The XP spent in an ability trained with a teacher are multiplied depending on the difference of level between teacher and student (a teacher with just one level above their student makes one XP worth 1.5 points, while one with three levels above them makes one XP worth 2.5 points!) Training takes one week, and the teacher's wages of course.


I don't know what Beard Sage is reading here, but it doesn't look good. Probably some French poo poo

Next: d20s and Resistance Tables, oh my!

Traveller fucked around with this message at 06:15 on Nov 10, 2013

Traveller
Jan 6, 2012

WHIM AND FOPPERY



PurpleXVI posted:


Out of curiosity as to whether this maniac had a site or something with more of his hilarious crazy, his name was Googled... and it turned out he had more hilarious crazy. He had written RPGs. Versions 0.23 and 3.13 of "Legions," a campaign for same, something called Societal Games and a small booklet called "Sexcapades," all freely available as .PDF's(a further two RPG's by him, Pantera and Sepultura, both of which Legions promises us it is fully compatible with, I haven't been able to find.).

I don't want to believe that RPGs called Pantera and Sepultura could ever be bad things

GorfZaplen
Jan 20, 2012



Alright then, I'll finish it, but I probably won't do any more Field after this.

BLACK TOKYO UNLIMITED - THE RACES OF BLACK JAPAN


The Goryohime are smart, pretty and popular girls who have committed a special ritual suicide that ensures that they will remain youthful forever, or in Field-speak "their bodies will never change, their breasts will never sag, their skin will never wrinkle, their hair will never thin nor grey."

Afterward, some choose to act out their former lives, attending the same high school they did in life, have the same friends (who might end up choosing to become Goryohime themselves) and shop at the same stores. The only clue to their true nature is that they are cold to the touch, and a raspy voice that belongs to ghosts created through strangulation. Others might attend the Hanging Academy, learning the "twin arts of necromancy and seduction". Others might become demon hunters and exorcists, "hunting the oni and human predators that prey on Japanese high school girls."

At a glance, a Goryohime looks like a normal school girl, but upon closer inspection you'd notice that she doesn't breathe, her heart doesn't beat (wait, how close of an inspection is this??), "her milky white skin is cool and smooth." Also, she still has the bruises and rope burns from her suicide. Also, they have long black tongues and "their voices have an instantly recognizable raspy sultriness."

When writing this up I ended up quoting the whole paragraph because it's so terrible, so here it is.

quote:

Goryohime dress in the same styles they enjoyed in life, with many adopting seductively modified school uniforms as a personal statement. The race as a whole is vain, fashionable and almost stereotypically girlish. Akaname who know them claim that the race smells faintly of the urine and poo poo they spilled in their last dying moments, a scent they find delightful. Ordinary mortals lack noses keen enough to detect this ghostly perfume.

"Guryohime" can't reproduce. The only way more are made is when a girl chooses to do the ritual. 80-90% are Japnaese, though "occasionally a girl from China, Korea or even distant America or Europe might hear the dream-call of the Great Tree." The Great Tree is never explained, although mentioned several more times.

Future Goryohime have "erotic nightmares" of being hanged from a "great tree of light." The nightmares begin shortly after puberty, and most girls fight the compulsion on their own or take meds for it, but every year dozens give in to the "noose-dreams." If a girl reaches her twenties without giving in, they cease happening.

Girls who choose to go through with it instinctively know the steps: "the white kimono, the brown obi, the strangling noose woven with purple thread, the prayer, the song, the final kicking away of the stool..." Relatively few actually succeed in being reborn, and just loving die. Those who succeed don't mourn those who failed, they celebrate their lives, "eroticie their deaths", and know that they are promised rebirth as "temple miko of the Great Tree."

Most live with their parents and attend the same schools, but some live in that spooky suicide forest in Japan.

Statwise, Guryohime get a +2 to Charisma because eternally-bruised necks, raspy voices, and the faint smell of piss are attractive. They also get lowlight vision. Their first ability made me literally facepalm in real life.

Eased Passage Between Life &Death (SU) posted:

Goryohime have died once, and orgasmed messily as they perished.


The real point of this ability is that they don't lose levels from being raised from the dead, and if they raise someone else from the dead there's no level loss for that person. Neat! They also have Noose Dreams which give them bonuses to magic skill poo poo. They also have the immunities common to all Undead player characters, except they are subject to mind influencing effects because they have "true souls."

If you want to become a Goryohime in game, you have to be a Young Adult female with a Charisma of at least 11. Then the gamemaster or player can decide to start having the dreams. The final choice to become a Goryohime is always in the player's hands. Player Goryohime always succeed in being reborn.


This is the closest thing to good artwork in the entire book.

ALTERNATE RACIAL TRAITS

Chaste Goryohime are uh, well,

quote:

She followed the pth of the Chinese Chaste warrior sisterhood. In her death ritual, she ritually severed her clitoris and sewed her labia shut with golden wire, before opening the veins in her thighs. Her undead flesh is as white and hard as porcelain, and her corpse still bears the signs of its mutilation.

What does the Goryohime get out of this horrific mutilation? Kick-rear end martial arts skills and bonuses against magic perv poo poo. In my opinion there is basically no reason not to take this regardless of character race if for some reason you're actually playing in a Black Tokyo game. It replaces Noose Dreams.

Dead Daughter of the Tatakama means that the Goryohime was born in Tatakama. She can find any Torrii Gate and gets bonuses on checks to open a sealed Torrii. This replaces the Eased Passage trait.

Glamorous spirit makes them into a seductive spirit, which gives her Charm Person as if she were a sorceror of her character level. If she replicates the ritual that created her, for 24 hours she can case Charm Monster instead. The ritual has to be witnessed by at least one living or Akaname character, which is probably going to be awkward. It replaces Eased Passage.

Peristaltic Magic is really stupid. Basically the Goryohime uses her memories of her pissing and making GBS threads herself after death to fuel magic. She also gets +4 on Will saves against Skatto magic, and if she dies while casting Skatto magic, she casts it anyway. This replaces Noose Dreams.




Of course there are catgirls. Naturally.

They're the results of magic and supernatural crossbreeding, gene-cutting and cosmetic surgery which sounds expensive as gently caress but nonetheless they're common sights in Black Tokyo because it's loving anime.

quote:

Seeing one, your breath catches in your throat for a moment, amazed the world can be so full of beauty.

They were created so rich dudes could have sex with catgirls. Despite the "arcane and hormonol locks on their reproduction" they can still breed, and can produce entire litters of more catgirls. Many become sex workers, while others fight to free their enslaved mothers and sisters.


I think that art is of a dude catperson, despite the race being entirely female by fluff. It's really hard to tell because it isn't good art.

Some cities have packs of feral catgirls as "common pests", although I imagine feral human sized cats with human intelligence would be much, much more dangerous than a "pest".

Appearance posted:

Nekomusume are petite females, light and tiny even by Japanese standards. Their bodies are just catlike enough to appeal to fetishists. Their bodies are decorated with attractive patches of soft fur that accentuate their bodies and sensuality but hide none of their charms. Their fuzzy ears are long, pointed and semi-prehensile, and are used to express emotion. Most breeds of Nekomusume have long, feline tails that trail between their taut buttocks.

They also have spongy padding on their feet and their freakishly large and pawlike hands. Finally, "having a harem of attractive and well groomed catgirls is a matter of pride for Black Japan's monied elite", because apparently every CEO is a 1990s otaku in Black Japan.

Reproduction
As stated earlier, they're supposed to be sterile but still give birth sometimes because reasons. Some say it is a gift from Kwannon or Inari, some sa it's a gene-sequencing error, some say it's just a bullshit reason to have there be catpeople on every corner of the street.

They give birth to "liters" of 4-6 catgirls after a six to seven month pregnancy. I know that's a typo, but I imagined jars of liquid nonetheless. The first pregnancy is the hardest and death in childbirth is common. They can only be impregnated by human males, but not with their designated master. "Only adultery, and the lure of true love and freedom allows Nekos to breed." Feral catgirls are basically getting pregnant all the drat time, and dude catpeople are even possible, although they're outnumbered ten to one by women.

Catgirls have a lifespan of about 20 years but reach sexual and emotional maturity in their first 24 months of life. Feral catthings usually die before they reach 8 years.

Most of them live in a cage as a wealthy man's plaything. They spend most of their time shopping or visiting special salons that cater to the needs of magical cat monstrosities, or buying poo poo at "Fashion Club Nekomini!" Feral Nekos make cardboard palaces or go to a coffin hotel, which thanks to Google I think refers to this but I'd like to imagine they made a hotel out of thousands of coffins strapped together with tape or something.

Stats! There's the obligatory +2 CHA, +2 DEX because they're part cat, and -4 INT because of their genetic ditziness. They have darkvision with 60 ft range, and low light vision. Since they're designer sex toys, they all receive Gifts of Ecstasy as a racial bonus feat, which according to Black Tokyo Unlimited...isn't a thing! So they get nothing. Okay, not nothing, apparently with Feline Nimbus their skin glows a soft amber when they're happy or aroused, and at will the "glamorous feline" can glow as if enchaned by a light spell. This actually does something, in that it gives all felines (not just catgirls, but normal cats, magical beast cats and anthropomorphic cats from Fursona) a +1 luck bonus on saving throws. This lasts as long as they drat well please. This makes the hypothetical coffin kingdom of feral catpeople even more terrifying if GM fiat allowed this to stack. Thousands of glowing catcreatures, all boosted to invulnerability by one anothers presence.

"Nekomusume paws are as stealthy as a ninja's tabi." They get 2 on stealth poo poo and dancing apparently.

NEKOMUSUME ALTERNATE RACIAL FEATS

Alley Cat replaces their nonexistant Gifts of Ecstasy feat with a +3 on Knowledge (Streetwise).

Bedroom Genius negates the INT penalty after sex for 1d4+1 hours. This gets rid of their stupid glowing ability.

You can take Feral Neko at chargen, which adds another -2 to INT but a _2 to strength, and increases their land speed to 35 ft. I forgot to mention it, but their climb speed is equal to their land speed, so they're better climbers too.

Kitten Idol (SU) posted:

Your voice was designed with as much obsessive love as your body, your fur, and your pussy and tail.

+3 on singing chekcs and you can speak the language of cats as well as you can speak human languages. You can talk to any cats and have a +3 racial bonus to Handle Animal checks with any feline. This replaces the stupid glow ability.

Stray gives you Iron Will as a bonus feat because you're too assertive for a master. This replaces the nonexistant Gifts of Ecstasy.

Student Kitten means that you're not a sex slave, but rather part of a sociological experiment. You're part of a batch of catshits that are adopted by humans and allowe to attend public school. You have to start as a Young Adult age category, but become an adult whenever you graduate highschool or reach level 4, whichever comes first, meaning that a Student Kitten could theoretically murder their way into adulthood. Additionally, they only suffer -2 penalty to their int scores, and this trait can be selected without giving up anything else.

Finally,

Field will never stop pimping this terrible idea for a book

NEXT TIME: I FINISH THIS loving BOOK

grassy gnoll
Aug 27, 2006

The pawsting business is tough work.

Fields is awful. You know what isn't awful? The Double Cross character I rolled.

By pure random rolling, I generated a loving single dad who grew up with parents that knew he was an Overed and supported him anyway, who acts as a part-time superhero when he's not at his terrible late night job as a bar comedian, and who's sweet for one of the other Overeds, despite the gross manifestation of her powers.

All of which is in the abstract a gigantic "I MUST BE MADE TO SUFFER" sign from the fiction, but it's a pretty loving endearing intro to the game.

(For those of you playing at home, Pure Chimera, Understanding Parents [Sincerity/Alienation], Parenthood [Kindness/Anxiety], Peer [Love/Repugnance], Experimentation, Distaste. Astonishingly normal for this game about your blood eventually killing you for your hubris.)

Count Chocula
Dec 25, 2011

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


quote:

The Goryohime are smart, pretty and popular girls who have committed a special ritual suicide that ensures that they will remain youthful forever

Like half of Fields stuff, this starts intriguingly creepy (in a good way) and then gets gross.

Bitchtits McGee
Jul 1, 2011



Cynical-Pop Meikyuu Kingdom Dungeon Theater

Chapter 3.5: Anime Death Tentacle Kingdommaker

You've spent a hard day bringing the hostile hinterlands to heel and now you're finally back on your own home turf, but don't crack open those brewskis just yet. Landmaking ain't like murderhoboing, after all, where you cash in your bounty and hit the taverns. There are responsibilities to responsibilize, Ts to dot and Is to cross, ducks what need lining up in rows before you can rest. The quacking would only keep you awake if you tried, anyway.

Before you do anything else, though, ask yourselves: are you really done with the dungeon? You set out there with an objective, remember? Well, did you successfully complete the scenario as given to you way back in the Prologue, or have you "tactically withdrawn"? In case of the latter, you'll probably want to give serious consideration to a Re-Challenge. With a Re-Challenge, you turn right back around to try that sucker again, restarting at the Kingdom Phase. This tops off your <HP> and gives you a chance to refill your <Staff>, Gather Information, or any of that other previously-detailed stuff. On the somewhat-less-than-upside, it also ends all continuous effects (such as Facility buffs from the first Kingdom Phase or Bad Statuses) and resets the <Vox Populi> to [10 - total number of Re-Challenges attempted this Game]. A very definite risk involved is the GM taking this opportunity to rearrange or even partially repopulate the dungeon, but as we'll see in a minute, even this pales against the penalty for leaving a job only half-done.

One more thing about this, and it's kind of important so I'll put sirens around it for emphasis: Not all Scenarios will allow Re-Challenges. This depends largely on the threat that's being addressed -- a great slavering beastie made of constellations set to take its rampage right down Main Street probably won't wait around while you get yourselves situated, but a sleeping dragon whose snore-smoke threatens to blanket the sky overhead will be just as evicted in another day or two. Also, unless your GM happens to be Megaduke Douchecanoe of Pricksylvania, they'll have told you outright at the start if this was the case.

If the Scenario has been completed or the Court votes to end the game early anyway, then the last phase of regular play begins, the appropriately named Ending Phase. Just like the others, this Phase follows a progression of sub-phases, as follows: Kingdom Change, Epilogue, Round-Table, and Level Up. (Re-Challenge doesn't properly fit in this or any other Phase, and is treated the same way as an Interrupt action.)

Kingdom Change

The world doesn't come to a stop while you're off gallivanting about the dungeons, and the events that have taken place in your absence are determined here. For each Character that returns, roll 2D6 against the Kingdom Change Table; however, if the Scenario was not completed, you roll against the Kingdom Downturn Table instead. Most of the results are either shared between them or variations of each other (the people kept working diligently / slacked off while you were gone), just with any possible benefit removed (increase <Treasury> by 1 MG for each Turn that passed) and/or penalty worsened on the Downturn Table (increase <Upkeep> by the same rate). They're not a whole lot individually, but resolving half a dozen Downturn results all at once can really punch a hole in your plans or even leave the Kingdom in ruins.

Epilogue

Just like the Prologue, another mixture of roleplay and exposition that sums up how the situation stands after the events of the game. If the Court was promised a specific reward for completing the Scenario, it's given to them now.

Round-Table

Again, startlingly similar to its Kingdom Phase counterpart, the Ending Phase version consists of the following steps:

  • Earnings Report - The Servant leads this one (or any non-Royalty Landmaker, if no Servants are present). First, if the scenario was completed, the <Treasury> increases by [Kingdom Level + (Current <Vox Populi> ÷ 2)] MG. Mark down any other assets gained from the Dungeon Phase or the Epilogue (money, Items, Prodigies, etc.), and erase any assets that were lost. Finally, roll 2D6 against the Market Table to determine which Material is currently in the highest demand; that Material may be sold at a price of 1 MG for 3, all others 1 MG for 5.
  • Budget Meeting - Vizier (or Royalty) takes point. Calculate how much the Kingdom costs in <Upkeep>: the base value is [number of Turns elapsed * number of Territories in the Kingdom] MG, increased by 1 MG for each member of the Court if the Scenario was not completed, and possibly increased or decreased by any number of Facility/Skill effects or roll results. Subtract the result from the <Treasury>; if there isn't enough there to cover it, you'll have to sell Facilities to make up the difference.
    The same selection of purchases that were available in the Kingdom Phase is available here, with one very notable addition. If you defeated the Dungeon Boss through combat or diplomacy, you may at this point purchase the Scenario's map by spending [5 + number of unexplored rooms consecutive to the Entrance] MG from the <Treasury> and updating the Known World Map with that space as a Territory of your Kingdom.
    If, after all purchases have been made, the <Treasury> remaining is greater than the current (Quality of Life), reduce the former to be equal to the latter. This is the balance that is carried forward into the next game.
  • Exploration Meeting - This one's totally meta. The GM leads a discussion among the group about who they feel performed the best in this game, using such suggested criteria as "Best Roleplaying", "Most Helpful", you know, all that happy hogwash. The players then put it to a vote, and whichever one of them wins gets a Medal, which are used to qualify for Advanced Jobs.
  • Dismissal - Revert all remaining <Staff> to <Citizens>. Adjust the Kingdom Level if needed.

Level Up

If the Scenario was completed successfully, each member of the Court may gain one Level, so long as this won't put their Character Level above the current Kingdom Level. Any Characters who completed the mission from their Background may also gain one Level, but the Level gained this way is not subject to the Kingdom Level cap. On gaining a Level, the following effects are applied:

  • Increase maximum <HP> and <Staff> by 1.
  • Acquire one new Skill. This can be a Class Skill, one from a Skill Group provided by your Job, or a General Skill. In the unlikely event that there are no options you can actually take, skip this step.
  • Add up your <Affection> and <Hostility> scores. If either one comes out to be greater than your new Character Level, reduce them until they're equal.

Any Character eligible to gain a Level but prevented by the Kingdom Level cap may instead take part in Retraining: choose any number of the Skills you have learned, unlearn them, and learn a new one from the available pool in place of each. Also, regardless of how the Scenario turned out, you can change one of your character's Likes or Dislikes to reflect the events of the game.

And that's it! Game's over, see you all next week. Write-up's not over, though, and I'm not even going to try and promise a clear estimate on when it'll show up again. When it does: a grand tour of the data cards! I can't wait!

Cyphoderus
Apr 21, 2010

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




DOUBLE CROSS

Part V - Powers


Powers, powers, powers! They are the superhuman abilities and effects granted to the Overeds by the Renegade virus. The ways the virus manifests are called Syndromes, and each Syndrome has its set of powers, which share a common theme and are related to each other. No power belongs to more than one Syndrome, except for some generic powers that can be manifested by any Overed whatsoever.

A "power" is a single effect. It's less like GURPS and more like the 4th edition of Dungeons & Dragons. Powers are for the most part designed to be used in combat. Powers that influence the plot in a more narrative sort of way are called Simple Powers and we'll talk about them toward the end of the update.

Throughout this update, I'll be giving plenty of examples; you'll recognise them because the power names will be in italics.

Each power has a Level. Every power starts at level 1, and you can level up your powers with experience points. A power's level usually factors in the calculation of its effect. For instance:
Bone Sword is an Exile power that grows a blade out from the user's skeleton. This provides Attack Power + (lvl+5); at power level 1, a Bone Sword will be slightly more damaging than a regular katana (Atk. Power +5).
Every power also has a Max Level, which is, you guessed, the maximum level you can get the power at. Bone Sword caps at 5, for a max of +10 Atk. Power. Here is the kicker: Pure-breed Overeds are plain better at their Syndromes than Cross or Tri-Breeds. For Pure-breeds, the maximum level gets +2. An Overed who manifests only the Exile Syndrome can level their Bone Sword to level 7 and get +12 Atk. Power out their uncannily sharp ribs or shoulder plates or something.

Combat has two kinds of action: major, which is basically attacking, and minor, which is basically moving – almost equivalent to D&D's "standard" and "move" actions. A power's Timing is what kind of action it takes to be used.
Petrify, the Morpheus power that turn a target's limbs to stone to slow them down, takes a major action to use.
Hundred Guns, the Morpheus power that takes your shirt buttons, belt buckles, shoelaces, paper clips, and creates an improvised firearm out of them, takes a minor action to use.
There are other possible timings. For instance:
Domain of Vengeance, the Orcus power that makes an attacker suffer the same amount of damage they cause the Overed, is used automatically, without an action.
Recovery, the Neumann power that's the Overed giving tactical instructions to help allies recover from bad statuses, must be used in the setup phase between rounds, before characters start taking their turns.

Most power require the user to roll a Skill. This is usually fairly obvious: melee powers require a Melee roll; powers related to shooting firearms require a Ranged roll; offensive powers that use no weapons usually require a Renegade Control (RC) roll. We'll learn exactly how combat rolls work in the future.
Corrosive Red, the Bram Stoker power that turns your blood foul and shoots it at enemies to corrode them, requires a RC roll.
Residual Lightning is a Black Dog power that electrifies a bullet so that after it hits, the enemy takes continuous damage from the residual currents; it requires a Ranged roll, to hit with said bullet.
Fist of Darkness is a Balor power that's punching a foe while holding in your hand a compact ball of pure gravity mass; it requires a Melee roll.
Sonic Attack, the Hanuman power that brings the user's attacks to sonic speed and make them harder to dodge, can be used with either a Melee or a Ranged roll.
These are, by far, the most common ones. Many powers don't require a roll at all, and some are meant to be used with other skills, sometimes outside combat.
Mirror Coat is an Angel Halo power that makes the air around the user mirrored and increases their ability to dodge attacks. It requires no skill roll to use.
The Walls Have Ears is an Exile power that should be taken very much literally: spy on people by detaching body parts. It's an Info roll.

DX's combat takes place in a "zone system" very similar to that of FATE Core's. There's no grid and no squares; instead, there are multiple Engagements. Think of an Engagement as an abstract measure, something like a "sub-battle" within the larger battle. Leaving the Engagement you're in is hard. I say this now because each power has a Target and a Range. The range can be "close" (same Engagement), "view" (any target in sight) or "weapon" (same range as the equipped weapon). Target can be the usual suspects: the user, a single target, an x number of targets, everyone in the current Engagement, everyone in the current combat scene.
Hell Beast's Roar, the Chimera power that shouts so drat menacingly at someone they flub their rolls, targets a single enemy in view of the Overed.
Some powers allow you to select targets:
Thor's Hammer, the Black Dog power that throws a massive lightning bolt, affect everyone in the Engagement, but you can select who. So if there are 4 enemies and 2 allies, you can direct your power to only hit the enemies, or, for some reason, a subset of them.
Arrow Raindrop is an Orcus powers that makes it rain sharp, pointy water. It has Target: Scene (Select), so it can freely target or spare anyone participating in the entire battle.

Remember the character's Encroachment Rate? The amount they have been taken over by the Renegade? Here's the bad news regarding powers: each single use of a single power increases the ER of the user. No power comes for free.
Metal Fusion, the Black Dog power that recovers HP by pretending you're a robot and patching yourself together with scrap parts laying around, increases your ER by 4.
Being brought back from the dead by using the Bram Stoker power Eternal Life increases your ER by 4d10.
Some powers are permanent effects. These don't raise your ER per use, as they have no "uses", but picking them means your base ER increases.
Weapon Installation is a Black Dog power that quite literally install a weapon inside the user's body, like Robocop's thigh holster. It permanently increases the user's Encroachment Rate by 2. This ER cannot be recovered, ever.

Finally, some powers are Restricted. This dictates the conditions in which you are allowed to use the power. There are just two possible restrictions: some powers are Pure-Breed-only, and inaccessible to Overeds with more than one Syndrome. Some powers require a character to have a minimum Encroachment Rate before they can use the power. This can be 80%, 100%, or 120%. Yes, your ER has no upper limit... you can push your character to 500% Encroachment Rate, but good luck bringing them back after that. The part where we talk about the ER system is still some ways away, however.
Only a Pure-Breed Chimera can use Extra Arms, the power that allows them to target multiple opponents in the same Engagement with melee attacks.
Plasma, a Salamandra power that fires a ball of pure... well, plasma, at the opponent, requires the user to be at 100% Encroachment Rate or more.



Combos

Powers take combat actions, right? That's why they have their Timing entry. Let me blow your mind:
No one ever said you had to declare only one power per action.
Powers can be combined! Multiple powers can be used at the same time.

This has a few restrictions, though. To combine two powers, they must have the same Timing and the same Skill. You can't combine a Melee power with a Renegade Control or Ranged power, nor a power that takes a minor action with one that takes a major one. Powers that don't require skill rolls can only be combined with others that also don't require rolls. Other than that, for the most part, it's free game!
You can combine the Salamandra power Flaming Bullets with the Solaris power Crown of Thorns to produce a damaging ray of fire and leave the target irritated, with a penalty to their checks. An itchy fireball!

Some powers list their skill as "Syndrome". These powers do nothing on their own, and exist purely to be combined with other powers of the same Syndrome.
The Orcus power Thorn Constraints is a Skill: RC power, and it attacks a target and binds them in place with thorny ivy. If you combine it with the Skill: Syndrome power Keystone Formation, you can increase the number of targets to 3. If you combine it still with Animal Tamer, you can get a bonus to your check by getting your Domain's animals to help you. So you have three people taking damage and being held in place by thorns, birds, dogs, and crawly insects. Orcus

Combos are numerous and, really, pretty much endless. All the Syndromes have many powers, I'd say like half of them, which are designed to be combined with other powers. The entire system is built from the ground up to take advantage of combinations. There's a place in your character sheet for you to jot down your favourite combos, as well.

There are Common Powers as well. These can be manifested by any Overed at all. Some of them are bland and generic effects designed to combine with other powers and increase their efficiency. Some are legitimately interesting effects. We'll talk about them when we look with more depth at each specific Syndrome; I think this will be the very next update.

Simple Powers

...are powers that have no mechanical effect whatsoever. They're purely for flavour, but that doesn't mean they don't have powerful effects in the world.
Childhood Friend is a Solaris Simple Power that releases endorphins that make the target trust you like you two have always known each other.
The Emperor's New Clothes is an amazing Bram Stoker Simple Power that creates multiple half-intelligent servants out of your blood who will admire you and praise you without hesitation. It's like creating your own fan-club.
Profiling is a Neumann Simple Power that lets you figure out people's personalities based on small clues in the surroundings, like Sherlock Holmes.
Morpheus has some of the best ones: Ultimate Chef will make a tasty dish out of any material the Overed throws into the pot. Folding hides any object or any size by folding it flat. You can make gruel out of old boots and never worry about parking again by turning your car into an origami.

I'll be honest here: I adore Simple Powers. They are the greatest, and usually the best part of the Syndromes.
The book says that "the use of Simple Powers has the potential to break a scenario", which is one of the biggest examples of how, like I said in the very first update, DX has a tendency to treat the GM in a very traditional manner, like they were the owner of the plot and the players sometimes just peskily interfere with its development.

At character creation, you get to pick four powers among your Syndromes. The book recommends you not pick more than one power that requires high levels of Encroachment Rate, as to not limit your options at the beginning of the game. It also recommends that you don't pick Simple Powers, because they have no combat use and thus picking them wrecks the balance of your character.

This is, in my view, the single biggest flaw in the entirety of Double Cross: the cool, narrative, flavourful powers take the same "slots" and have the same experience point costs as the combat powers. It's just bad design that hampers fun. It's just encouraging players to skip Simple Powers in favour of combat ones, or else they become less effective.

Thankfully, this is very easily fixed: since Simple Powers have no combat use at all anyway, making them separate from regular powers is no trouble. Hell, just give them to the player with no XP cost. I like my games with plenty of cars being folded into pockets and inserting fingers into people's temples to read their memories (that is an Exile one, by the way). But anyway, I digress.

This is it for now. Next time: the goddamned rules! Finally!

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


GorfZaplen posted:

I'll drop the Black Tokyo review since so many people seem opposed to it. I guess I can find something else

I'm cool with it. I'm offended by the material, not the review thereof.

Halloween Jack posted:

If anyone's planning to run it on the forums, how would you? I don't know how to run an online game of something not widely available and I wouldn't want to pirate a game that's not free or OOP.

Somebody absolutely needs to run this once enough people have their physical books in-hand.

LornMarkus
Nov 8, 2011



AccidentalHipster posted:

While I'm waiting for Majuju to get to get to d20 Modern's Skills and Feats so that I can continue my Naruto write-up (sorry if I'm putting you on the spot pal) I'm considering doing a write-up of another game. Tenra Bansho Zero (cyberpunk/high fantasy feudal Japan) comes to mind because I love that game and it deserves more attention. I'm also considering Dungeons: The Dragoning (40k+Exalted+D&D+WoD+Mass Effect=) because I love that game and it deserves to have a finished review. Or I could dredge up Strike Legion (super soldiers fighting Imperial hordes IN SPAAAAACE!) from my hard drive and give it a crack (that one would be semi-blind though). If the thread really wants me to (or I get bored enough) I'll start one, but I'd like to know which I should do.

I'd love Tenra Bansho Zero myself. I've got the game already but it's always interesting to hear about it all the same.

Cyphoderus posted:



DOUBLE CROSS

Part V - Powers

You know, awesome as the individual powers sounded I was getting a little bit disappointed there. Right up until you explained the comboing, and that they were sane enough to make it utterly simple while still being crazy awesome. As soon as I have the money for it, I am buying the gently caress out of DX.

LornMarkus fucked around with this message at 16:55 on Nov 10, 2013

a kitten
Aug 5, 2006




The powers, conspiracies, and weird compulsions really make me think of Darker Than Black, it's kind of awesome.

CottonWolf
Jul 20, 2012

Good ideas generator



a kitten posted:

The powers, conspiracies, and weird compulsions really make me think of Darker Than Black, it's kind of awesome.

Oh god. If I ever play this, I am going to have to name my character November 11 now. Chain-smoking James Bond, here we come.

But yeah, you're absolutely right, this does exactly feel like Darker than Black, now I think about it.

Traveller
Jan 6, 2012

WHIM AND FOPPERY



Overeds seem to be less sociopathic than the average Contractor, even with the virus eroding their humanity.

Cardiovorax
Jun 5, 2011
I got chased out of the Monster Hunter thread for garbage posting, now I shit up other Games threads with useless low-effort uninformed aggro noise. I somehow think "VN nerds" are beneath me and I belong on your ignore list.

a kitten posted:

The powers, conspiracies, and weird compulsions really make me think of Darker Than Black, it's kind of awesome.
Encroachment sounds more like something out of Claymore, but I'd still pay for a Darker Than Black RPG.

AmiYumi
Oct 10, 2005

I Forgot To Hail King Torg


Count Chocula posted:

Like half of Fields stuff, this starts intriguingly creepy (in a good way) and then gets gross.
As far as I know, dude was really into Corpse Princess (to the extent of rewriting his goryohime or making a supplement or something), but decided it needed some extra scatalogical and sexual undercurrents. So don't give him all that much credit.

MadScientistWorking
Jun 23, 2010

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


Young Freud posted:

Same here. I want to know more of Field's work so I can avoid making the same mistakes. I find him utterly fascinating in that he believes this is appropriate for publication.
Honestly, I was quasi joking about that earlier but honestly I've been contemplating doing Wild Cards as a Fatal and Friends writeup. Its amazing that for such a supposed group of competent writers that so much awfulness could be condensed into such few words. Hell if the guy doing the writeup for it in The Book Barn is correct then Fields actually drew inspiration from it.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Count Chocula posted:

Like half of Fields stuff, this starts intriguingly creepy (in a good way) and then gets gross.

You would think that the death ritual would include using enemas or fasting 24 hours before killing yourself.

MadScientistWorking posted:

Honestly, I was quasi joking about that earlier but honestly I've been contemplating doing Wild Cards as a Fatal and Friends writeup. Its amazing that for such a supposed group of competent writers that so much awfulness could be condensed into such few words. Hell if the guy doing the writeup for it in The Book Barn is correct then Fields actually drew inspiration from it.

Yeah, if I remember of it the two most attractive women in the series are a generic angel-winged centerfold model and a woman who's skin is invisible.

Libertad!
Oct 30, 2013

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



Key of Destiny Adventure Path, Book One, Chapter One: Finding the Key

The first book in the series is meant to take characters from 1st to about 7th level. By the time the PCs finish up the introductory Sylvan Key adventure, they should be at 2nd level. The introduction is also where we get the whole shebang on the Key's history.

Basically, in Dragonlance, the Elves are the race created by the good-aligned Gods of Light. Before they had a nation they consisted of fractured noble houses. The great leader Silvanos managed to unite all the houses and found a new elven nation in the great forests of southeastern Ansalon. Dragons already lived within the woods, and did not take kindly to this encroachment upon their homes. Thus began the First Dragon War. This battle lasted for 350 years before the 3 Gods of Magic (the moons Solinari, Lunitari, and Nuitari) intervened to help the elves by giving them the Dragon Orbs (known as Orbs of Dragonkind in other settings) to control the minds of the 5 species of chromatic dragons. The elves secured victory with these powerful artifacts, and founded the nation of Silvanesti.

During the War, Quinari, a priestess of Paladine (Bahamut), felt pity on the fallen dragons. She used her healing magic to tend to the wounds of those fallen, enhancing her powers with soothing melodies and earning the respect of the metallic dragons who allied with the elves as a result. After the war, she and Silvanos married, and the dragons bestowed upon her the unimaginative name of "Dragon-Singer." Gloranthia, leader of the gold dragons, entrusted her with the secret location of the Dragon's Graveyard, where the spirits of all draconic entities go to die. She used her magic over the centuries to sweep away the bodies of these mighty and powerful creatures so that those with evil hearts could not make use of them. Regretfully, such knowledge was too valuable for any non-dragon to have for long, and Gloranthia magically removed all memories of the place from Quinari before her death. The melody she sung to open the portal survived in vague recollections of her mind, eventually incorporated into the wider elven culture unaware of its true power.

The true adventure begins with the PCs returning to Pashin:

quote:

The sun is setting over the town of Pashin. Already the silver moon Solinari hangs high overhead, while the full red moon Lunitari begins its ascent in the eastern sky. The air begins to cool almost immediately as the sun sinks below the western horizon; the cold southern breeze causes the temperature to drop swiftly. You can see your breaths in misty bursts as you exhale, while every inhalation brings with it both the crisp, sharp scent of winter and the distinctive mixture of refuse, horses, and countless cook fires.

Passing through the gates of the town, you see the people already beginning to close up their shops, workers heading either for home or into one of the many taverns for food and protection from the sharp bite of the winter night. You feel a strange chill, neck hairs prickling, as if someone is watching you.



Fun facts: Dragonlance's main continent, Ansalon, is in the southern hemisphere, and its three moons are the Gods of Magic, one for each of the moral alignments. Their phases effect the power of Wizards aligned with them, enhancing or draining them. There's even a calendar in the setting to keep track of this, and the Adventure Path tells of dates. Nuitari is invisible to all but the Black-Robed Wizards.

I particularly enjoy the boxed texts of this adventure; the writers are descriptive enough in the right parts but not so wordy as to essentially dictate PC actions. I won't be copying them fully all the time, in some cases just the important bits. The first one above is presented in all its glory.

The PCs are indeed being watched, but attempts to follow the one spying upon them leads the group on a wild goose chase through town, ending at the Five Dragons Inn. In reality the person is Naelathan Shadowdark, one of the elven refugees acting under orders of their leader. He too heard rumors of the Key returning, but he can't confirm anything as of now.

Chapter One is a rather open-ended section of the adventure, both to its benefit and detriment. The game makes no more mention of the Herald from the introductory adventure, so the most likely revenue of information for players is gone. Basically our heroes are meant to wander about town, gathering information on the Key itself. This is accomplished either by visiting the most notable town locations below, or through random encounters.

City Map:


As you can tell, Pashin has a MASSIVE Dark Knight presence. They now occupy the city and serve as its law enforcement in the eastern section. Basically, they're the Evil knightly order of Dragonlance; the Solamnic Knights being the Good guys and the Steel Legionnaires the more "modern" cloak and dagger counterpart to the older two. When Takhisis (goddess of chromatic dragons and tyranny) was alive and kicking, the Dark Knights were known as the Knights of Takhisis and spiritual successors to the Dragonarmies. Now they're the Knights of Neraka, majorly situated in said nation and dominated by secular mystics instead of clerics. What resistance exists against them in Pashin consists of the town's rough and tumble sorts (it was a rather lawless town beforehand), Khur tribes (loosely based off of real-world Arabs) resentful of Nerakan tyranny, elven refugees, and the remnants of the Steel Legionnaires.

The adventure encourages the use of random encounters to move the PCs along plot-wise if they aimlessly wander about town. Most of the encounters are definitely tied into the larger goings-on in Pashin, but since that they're essentially random and have a low chance per hour of occurring (10%-50% depending upon circumstance), it's not an effective method. Not to mention a few of them aren't tied into any greater plots. Personally, when I ran I just handed out what encounters I felt would motivate the PCs best. I'll list a few of the more interesting encounters and locations together, as it would be disjointed if I did them separately:

The Bazaar: That large square field to the south of town (left side of the map) is home to an impressive assortment of merchant's tents, selling all manner of legal and not-so-legal goods. Everything here is over-priced, about 125%, but bartering with a successful Diplomacy reduces goods to as low as 85%. If the PCs try to get the Key of Quinari appraised or sold, they'll be pointed to Halthorne the Wise's tent, and elderly gnome struck blind when he gazed upon the form of Chaos (primordial god of entropy and destruction) during the Chaos War. This is special enough to deserve it's own obligatory boxed text!

quote:

A small, almost non-descript tent stands near the heart of the bazaar. The khaki tent is stained by exposure to the elements. The front flap is pushed open, revealing a small, wizened figure. A gnome by appearance, although an odd one at that. Completely bald, his skin is almost the same color as the tent which frames him. His eyes seem to stare straight through you; visible cataracts have turned them a strange shade of gray. The tiny figure smiles, revealing perfectly white teeth, as he wheezes softly. "Welcome, I have been expecting you. You are seeking answers, I see. Unfortunately, the answers you seek will only lead you to hunt for yet more answers. Your path is a long one and only you can find the final answer." The old gnome's smile widens slightly. "Seek out the elves, they will provide the first answers and your next questions." The gnome turns quietly, disappearing into the tent with a soft whooosh.

Vague Prophecy Count: 2. Expect this to be a regular feature folks, cause this adventure path loves them! I'd recommend altering these elements if you run KoD, perhaps making them more specific. Otherwise your players might get tired of it quickly.

Courtesan: At night-time the prostitutes of Pashin come out to make money. Most serve as information brokers for Blackbird, the half-ogre crime lord who knows most of what's going on in town. One of the courtesans, a half-elf named Dove, propositions one of the PCs as Blackbird's goons show up to collect their earnings. Too bad she doesn't have their money.

For some reason Dove is the most restated NPC of this adventure. During 2005 when True20 was the next big thing, a lot of Dragonlance fans fell in love with it and started making unofficial fan conversions. Dove, a mere 1st-level NPC, was one of the first characters converted. Not Tasslehoff, not Tanis Half-Elven, no famous dudes. Eh, to each their own.

Now if the PCs scare off the thugs, pay Dove's debt or diplomacize their way out, they get experience for the encounter. But if they intimidate or fight them off, the rest of the random encounters in town starting 1-2 days from now will be Blackbird's goons, as the man never forgets a grudge. Dove can also tell them more about the town, including that the elven refugees have gone underground and disguised themselves as lepers to avoid notice (nobody sticks around lepers), and that the store Old Omar's Oddities is a Steel Legionnaire front.

Blackbird himself operates out of the Wounded Crow. If the PCs are filled with righteous fury and want to take this guy on, well it's not going to be pretty. He's a tough motherfucker on home base. Unless the PCs shoot off a lucky spell taking advantage of his low saves, you're probably going to end up with a TPK unless your players are hardcore min-maxers.



However, if they came to engage in some information gathering, Blackbird's willing to listen if they've got the money. His place is a classic hive of scum and villainy, home to grisly taxidermied trophies scattered about the place and mercenary bands (little more than killers for hire). In the spirit of 3rd Edition's worse aspects, there's a needlessly complex social interaction table determining the price of his information based upon the asker's race, class, and Diplomacy check, but all you need to know is that 40 to 60 steel pieces (gold piece equivalent in Dragonlance) should be enough to get all his secrets out. He knows that the Steel Legionnaire wants the Dark Knights out of Pashin, that the mayor's discretely sending help but is otherwise holed up in his mansion and letting the Knights take control, and that the elves are hiding out in the sewers (he doesn't know the specifics).

Judging by these encounters, it's obvious that we're supposed to seek out the elven refugee colony! Speaking of elves...



Lepers: This encounter takes place in one of Pashin's many alleyways. Basically the PCs stumble across a murder, a gray-cloaked figure with a curved knife crouched over a bloodied body. The picture doesn't necessarily match what's going on, don't it?

This is Aranol Nightblade, a Silvanesti elf banished from his community for a terrible crime, and he just took revenge upon the one responsible for his exile. He will try escaping once discovered; as a 4th-level rogue with tanglefoot bags and caltrops, he can easily get away. Once he neutralizes the most visible threat, he will drink a Potion of Jump and spring to the rooftops to escape. Shortly afterwards a group of elves will come upon the scene; depending upon whether Aranol is present (and thus neutralized) determines their reaction to the PCs, although they only attack to kill if they're convinced of the PC's guilt in the affair.

Despite his level, it's rather manageable as an encounter. Aranol does not want to take the PCs head on, and removing and even if he goes high in initiative he won't have enough time to drink his potion in the same round. And he's a lone Rogue, meaning that he won't have many opportunities to flank and sneak attack. Sometimes when I ran it Aranol escaped, other times he did not.

If the PCs help the elves out, future encounters with them will go easier. They'll need to leave soon as a Dark Knight Patrol is passing by. If the PCs offer to help distract them, they gain experience points equal to the Encounter Level +1, for a total effectiveness of a CR 5 creature. They don't get any experience for killing the (innocent) elves. Taking the noble path is very much encouraged in this adventure over the route.

The last major encounter of note is Legionnaire Rebel, and just one big misunderstanding. It begins with a "peasant" named Jacob hurriedly jumping out of a building which shortly explodes afterwards. This is not what it looks like: one of the Legion's safehouses was compromised by the Dark Knights, but he doesn't want to look incompetent and tells the PCs that he's a freedom fighter who destroyed a Dark Knight munitions storage. He'll beg the PCs to help him get away, offering 200 steel to take him to the Five Dragons Inn. As is to be expected, Jacob isn't the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree, so his wife sent her two sons to keep an eye on him and are now trailing the PCs. If spotted, they'll explain everything and ask Jacob to return home with them, who reluctantly agrees. The party's efforts are rewarded with a Starmetal medallion, which they're supposed to give to Klaudia the shopkeep at Old Omar's Oddities. This will show that they're friends to the Legion and earn them some good equipment as payment for services. If asked, she'll say that Jacob is now "taking a less active role in the Legion, working behind the scenes." In reality, he's going to spend more quality time with his family.

The other major locations (Mayor's Mansion, Temple of the True Gods, Five Dragons Inn) are relatively unimportant, little more than set-pieces and services for the PCs (in the mayor's case, Pegrin has a bounty on his head which can be cashed in). If the DM feels that sufficient progress has been made, you move on to the next story-based encounter.

Prophecy & Immolation.

And what better way to move along the plot with some more boxed text! The PCs encounter an old crone in the street, who upon seeing them screeches loudly and grips one of them with fright.

quote:

Suddenly those blind eyes turn your way and the figure lets out a shriek loud enough to rival a banshee's. Throwing yourself towards your group, she collapses on the ground at your feet. Slowly, painfully pulling herself up, the crone gazes up at you with a disturbing intensity. With a low, deep moan her eyes roll into the back of her head and she begins to shudder in a grip of fever. Words begin to pour from her mouth in a whispery hiss: "The stars are set into motion, a plan both cunning and divine; beware of specters in the night, beware of unseen designs; the key you hold, others desire; protect yourself from obsession's FIRE!"

By the time she says the last word, she doubles back in a scream and burns alive with a magical blue fire. Everyone adjacent to her takes fire damage on a failed save.

Vague Prophecy Count: 3.

Proper Knowledge and Spellcraft will reveal possibiities that she was most likely possessed and/or affected by an Immolation spell, that an overflow of arcane energy burned her body from the inside out, that some spirits can kill their hosts, and that the Magic Jar spell allows spellcasters to "body hop." A bunch more questions with little definite answers, but a See Invisibility spell reveals the vague outline of a figure in the Ethereal Plane.

This book doesn't say who did this, but it was Lothian, one of the Big Bad Evil Guys for this adventure path, responsible for this, who I will talk about later. He's intentionally leading the holders of the Key along to the Dragon's Graveyard so that he can gain access himself. Of course, his overly dramatic warning causes bystanders to assume that the PCs used magic to kill the woman, and they start shouting for the city watch. If the PCs don't escape, a dark knight patrol will be on them soon enough.

The Knights will try bringing the PCs in alive, beating them to unconsciousness if necessary. The inhabitants of Pashin, unwilling to involve themselves with the Dark Knights, will not help the PCs and get out of their way. If caught, the PCs are taken deep into their encampment and stripped of equipment before being tossed in an open-air prison with manacles. "The General will decide your punishment in the morning. I'd get a good night's sleep if I were you, it will probably be your last."

Whether the PCs are caught or successfully escape, an elf will approach them.



quote:

Out of the shadows emerges a black-robed figure. Pushing back the hood, an elven face is revealed. Golden hair, cut ragged and short, frames a face that would be beautiful if not for the intensity of his features. Pale blue eyes gaze at you coldly. "If you want to get out of here, follow me."

You hear an explosion in the distance. A soft chuckle escapes the elf's lips, his head turning so that you can see a smile. "That will be my friends causing a distraction. Let's not waste their efforts, no? You've been afforded an opportunity not given by many... you've been summoned to see Shaylin. Let us not keep her waiting."

2 explosions in one day for poor Pashin. I can't imagine how the townsfolk feel about all this.

This elf is Naelathan Shadowdark, an agent of Shaylin, the elven refugee's leader. Word of the Key in their possession has reached her ears, and wants to verify the accuracy of the reports. Regardless, staying up top is too dangerous and he escorts them to a hidden sewer entrance.

Thoughts so far: This part of the review's getting long, so I'm cutting off for now. This section feels rather unfinished in parts, as it's mentioned that the Legion of Steel would help the PCs if captured, but otherwise the events in town flow together well. There's even two minor encounters involving a drunken ogre and Kender thief, who if encountered, will be found in prison and can help the PCs escape. Depending on how it's run it can be very open-ended or railroady, a rare feature in adventure paths overall.

Next time, the rest of Chapter One.

Libertad! fucked around with this message at 23:57 on Nov 10, 2013

Libertad!
Oct 30, 2013

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

Plague of Hats posted:

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.

You have my permission to put up all my reviews, both present and future.

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine


Desty posted:

Fields is awful. You know what isn't awful? The Double Cross character I rolled.

By pure random rolling, I generated a loving single dad who grew up with parents that knew he was an Overed and supported him anyway, who acts as a part-time superhero when he's not at his terrible late night job as a bar comedian, and who's sweet for one of the other Overeds, despite the gross manifestation of her powers.

All of which is in the abstract a gigantic "I MUST BE MADE TO SUFFER" sign from the fiction, but it's a pretty loving endearing intro to the game.

(For those of you playing at home, Pure Chimera, Understanding Parents [Sincerity/Alienation], Parenthood [Kindness/Anxiety], Peer [Love/Repugnance], Experimentation, Distaste. Astonishingly normal for this game about your blood eventually killing you for your hubris.)

You rolled up Wild Tiger by pure chance. Love Double Cross so much.

FourmyleCircus
Sep 15, 2013


Okay, I think I've finally got into the swing of things here...



It's 1993, do you know where you hilariously exhaustive(and exhausting) skill list is?

Time to move on to Language(T). It's a Macro skill, so you have to choose what language you're actually learning. That's right, you need to spend points in every language you can speak, but don't worry, you get the first one free. Generally, you want "Terran", which doubles as Galactic Common. Because this chart is actually amusing, you get to see it for once.



Joe Generico, with a straight Eight in everything, needs Two adds in Language(German) to have a fifty fifty chance of asking the bus driver for the bus schedule or regretfully informing him that he must sing. He needs two adds to have a fifty fifty chance of (This is a Finnish example) informing someone there's a King Cobra about, not just a Married Snake. How hilariously realistic. Part of me always wanted to hold whatever players I might get to this so I could have everyone talking like the cast of Buffy. "Dammit Fortunato you're never getting the... uh.. Big shooty burny thing again! Crap, how come that's a DN 15?"

Linguistics(U) is it's own skill. Of course it is. It's specializations are whatever languages you choose. Mostly, it's for understanding whatever languages you don't speak, but it doesn't actually allow you to be remotely fluent. It's a DN 3 for an American to understand a Canadian. Actually, I'm generalizing a bit, it's also a DN 3 for a New Yorker to understand a Californian. It's a DN 10 for a Frenchman to understand a Spaniard, and a DN 15 to understand Chinese. A completely alien language is a DN 25. But don't worry, if they're asking something simple the difficulty drops by three. That's right, Bathrooms, the universal language. "Scuse me guv, I need to spend a penny." "Ah. The outhouse is over there, pardner." "Thank you." Automatic.

An Ancient Roman shows up and asks for lunch? DN 7(After all, English is related to drat near everything, and Romance Languages are common). "Who was that?" "Marcus Agustus, I think. Wanted to know where the food court was."

Perception(U) is this game's spot. Except it covers drat near everything. It's specializations are as follows: Find, evidence analysis, smell, see, taste, resist surprise. Did you know that it's impossible to startle a CSI? I didn't. Granted, not being surprised is it's own specialization but geeze. No getting the drop on Sherlock.

Psionic Manipulation(T) Very important for the Psi Rat. Now, you have to have the Alien background advantage "Psionic Abilities" to even get it, but that's next chapter. You can only get it after character generation if the GM decides your character has the Psionic Potential. It's got it's own chapter later but what you need to now that it's(rather appropriately) a bit of a book keeping headache. Each power has it's own Base Difficulty Number. That's right, you have to roll to see if you can even summon up the willpower to use the power this round. But that's not all! Each power has it's own requirements of how high the Psionic manipulation skill has to be to even be able to use it. But at least to can specialize in particular powers.

To sum up, each psionic power has three hurdles. First, you have to have spent some of your background on being psionic. Secondly, you have to have spent enough of your skill points on Psionic Manipulation to be able to even know a particular power exists. Thirdly, you have to roll well enough/have a high enough skill and attribute combination to do it. Aren't you excited to have requested a Psionicist, Accidental Hipster? Because they're sure happy to have you./scarcasm

Scholar(U) is a Macro skill that basically takes the place of Knowledge for all of you familiar with D20. The Focuses given in the book are Chemistry, Criminal, Physics, System, and Teaching. only two of these really need explanation. System is about one particular solar system, not about computers. It pretty much lets you bullshit asteroid feilds and other minor features into existence. Teaching is important... It lets you teach other skills so that other people can learn them at half the cost.

That's it.

Yep. You can only teach as many Skill Adds as you have in Teaching. But it can be anything you already know yourself. I'd call it a point sink, bu in a way that's actually a really nice party member to have around. Instead of the deticated Heal Bot you have the Teach Bot.

Sensors(T or U) lets you use sensors. Ships Sensors is a trained skill, and it lets you use the ships sensors. If you don't have the skill, you have to get the ships computer to do it. Personal Sensors is Untrained, and lets you use metal detectors, geiger counters, motion sensors, electronic noses, whatever. Good for defeating stealth. Okay as prospecting.

Tracking(U) lets you track things. The base difficulty for tracking is 8, no matter what you're following. Then you look at the table to find the difficulty. If it's been a day the difficulty is +2, +5 if it's been a few, +8 if it's been a week. +5 for tracking in a snow storm, +10 for hard surfaces. -5 if it's a car, -5 if you're tracking something in mud or snow. Simple enough. You can specialize in certain types of terrain.

Trick(U) is practically Young Josephs signature skill. It's for brief deception and confusion. You want something longer lasting, go for Con. It's main purpose is for putting people off guard so you can really lay into them. It can also be used for tricking guards to let you in and losing tails. THe specializations avaliable are Misdirection, Deception... whatever other type of trick you can think of. If you want more information you'll have to pry The Rule Book out of the GM's hands.

And that brings us to Mind skills.

Artist is a trained or Untrained Macro skill, meaning that you can't just write down Artist and be done with it. You have to decide if you're a painter, a singer, or whatever. And as it's based on the same stat as Computer Tech and Cyber tech(well get to them), pasty research scientists with no life are better at singing than pop stars... so you too can be The Very Model of a Scientist Solarian.

My wonderful SO is shooting me dirty glares and stating that most painters are probably better singers than most pop singers, too. Moving on...

Business(U) is not for running a business. That's Scholar: Business. No. Business is for sizing up other companies, finding their strengths and weaknesses, and even putting a price on them. It's also for playing the Stock Market. Guessing the value of a stock or business starts at DN 10 and the difficulty goes up based on how complicated the situation really is. Just looking at the stock market and picking a winner at random is a DN 14. Luckily, you can specialize in either guessing the value of things or Stock Speculation.

Computertech(T) lets you repair, assemble, and modify personal and ship computers. The difficulty of or enhancing a computer is the current value of the computer, which is absolutely meaningless to you as it's not in this book. It takes time and money to make a computer better, but most computers are as good as they can get without totally rebuilding them, so stuff that in your pipe and smoke it. Repairing is based on the damage, but most minor damage is DN 8, with major damage being DN 14. Specializations are specific brands of computers and types of operations. So even in the Generic Space future where everyone is running from some threat at the center of the galaxy, you can still say "Sorry, I don't know how to repair an Apple."

Cybertech(T) is... oh god dammit. Cybertech is pretty much a craft skill, except for the fact that anything you build will never quite as good as what you buy unless you put an insane number of points in this. It's for building, repair, and modifying Cyberdecks and cyberware. Every bit of cyber equipment has a Cyber Rating, from one to six. You have to beat a difficulty number of related to the rating to even assemble the drat thing, much less repair of improve it. The Difficulty starts at ten for a Cyber Rating of 1 and hits 22 for a Cyber Rating of 6.

But wait there's more! Building things isn't a simple Pass/Fail experience here. Oh no. How well you succeeded changes things a lot. If you only get a Minimal Success, it'll malfunction any time you suffer a setback while using it. Depending on how you read that, it can be Anytime you get a Stymied or Setback result(Two more terms that mean nothing yet because we haven't gotten to the Basic Rules chapter). On an Average success it only malfunctions on a Setback. With a Good one, it doesn't malfunction at all. With a superior success, not only does it cease to malfunction, but it counts as one cyber rating smaller. So if it was CR 4, it's now CR3.

Improving things works the same way, except with Fewer downsides. A Minimal success gives you a +1, and a Superior gives you a +4, on top of the reduced Cyber Rating thing.

SO what does this actually mean? Let's assume Joe Genero went into Cybertech school. Wit his Eight mind, he needs are least 2 Cybertech Adds to even be able to hit DN 10 half the time. So, half the time, our generic average person would only be able to produce basic products that explode when their owner is stymied. I had to pull out the Rule Book here to figure out exactly what the probabilities were, but.... Here we go. If hit the Difficulty Number on the nose, that's a minimal success. 1-4 over the Difficulty number is average, 5-9 is good, and 10 and over is Superior. The dice will subtract half the time, so again, for a fifty fifty chance, you gotta be right on.

Joe Genero needs 4 adds to be able to not totally fluff up a Cyber Rating two device. Good to know.

Okay, so onto repairing stuff, that's bound to be easier right? Well, sorta. You use the same chart as before, replacing the Cyber Rating with how many wounds the device has taken. So once again, he needs four adds, for a total of 12(Attribute + Skill Adds), to not make a hash of the device. Well Joe, looks like your career as a Cybertechnician is a short one.

I just gotta take a break here to say: I hate lovely craft skills and systems. I've bought entire books just to have better Craft Systems(Those books being [ur/=http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/1107/Guns!-Guns!-Guns!-v1.1?it=1&filters=0_10134_0_0_40030]Guns! Guns! Guns![/url] and the Atomik series, both of which I recommend. Atomik cyberware really livened up my Shadowrun games because it resulted in a character having a complete set of cooking implements in his right hand....) Yes, there's a reason I'm not allowed to play a crafter in Dungeons and Dragons or an Alchemist in Pathfinder. But back to Shatterzone.

Hypnotism(T) is a mass of words. Basically, if it's a willing subject, it's really easy because the difficulty number is 18 minus their Mind. Which means that The Nanny, with her Mind of 12, is surprisingly easy to hypnotize. If she's willing. If she's unwilling, it's either her Mind score or her adds in the Willpower skill+8, whichever is higher.

Once you have someone hypnotized, you can either interrogate them, in which case you add your result points(however much you exceeded the target number by) to your Interrogation attempt when you roll. The hypnotized interogatee can still resist, but can't reroll tens or spend life points. So yes, as it stands now, Marry Poppins is better at reading your mind than Joseph Joestar.

Planting a suggestion is more difficult. The difficulty of planting it is based on how friendly the character is to suggestion. So it's easier to get someone to cluck like a chicken than it is to flip out and kill their boss when they next hear "Blue berry pie". The better the success, the longer the suggestion stays in their mind. The duration is determined by the skill roll, not by result points. Which means at at a 15, all of The Nanny's post hypnotic suggestions stay in your mind for sixteen and a half hours unless she rolls really poorly, or rolls well. So Mary Poppins is better at Mind Control too.

Medicine(T) does whatever medicine does. The specializations are Battlefield Medcine, Cybernetic surgery, surgery, and Alien Species. It can be used instead of First aid, but also lets characters who are Healing heal faster, with the aid of the doctor. Naturally, the more serious the wound the higher the difficulty number. Light wounds are DN 10, Wounded is 12, Heavily Wounded is 13, Incapacitated 15, and Mortally wounded 17... And if you're mortally wounded, you have to roll every round until they're stabilized. Luckily, first aid packs have an effective skill of 18, and will make that roll every round until you're either put in a Cold Sleep module or in the hospital.

If you're using it instead of First Aid, use the First Aid chart. It's also used for surgery. That uses the above chart, and something in the equipment section in the Universe guide to determine how much damage you take for getting the cyberware put in or removed.

Navigation is for... Navigation in star ships. You have to roll an 8 to find out information about the star system you're in, then you roll again to find Q-Point, safe places for your ship to jump into. Normally, it takes Ten minutes to find a safe jump point. If you want to find one faster, you have to make a roll against DN 14, and then consult both the general push chart and the Value chart to see how much time you shaved off. If you just wait the ten minutes, it happens automatically.

Psionic Resistance(T) is the Psi Rat's big skill and a big boon for anyone doing Psionics. Hell, who am I kidding, you have to have it. See, when you use an ability, there's a chance of Backlash. This skill lets you not kill yourself whenever you punch someone with your mind, or make them crave coffee. It's also used to resist psionic skills. If you don't have it(and thus aren't psionic) you use Willpower instead.

Psychology(U) is basically medicine for the mind. That's pretty much the whole use of it, rules as written. If you want to actually use it for anything else you'll need Hypnosis and Scholar: Psychology, I guess.

Science(T) is a macro skill with such diverse and fun things as Electronics, Mechanical, Spaceship engineering, Space Weapons, Weapon-smithing(Energy), and Weapon-smithing(fire). And yes, you need Energy Weapon-smithing to make a flame thrower. I guess you'd also need Science: Chemistry to make chemical weapons and the like, as it out right says that Scholar is theoretical knowledge and Science if for practical knowledge involving construction and building of things.

And hey, we're onto Confidence. I said nothing about the other stats because it didn't seem like I needed to. But this one is different. Confidence is your self-image and belief. You can browbeat people, and resist based on it. Keep this in mind as I go through the skills.

Con(U) is Con man stuff. If you want to be Nathan Ford, this is what you need. It works like Persuasion/Charm. but it involves being a treacherous cockbite. The difficult is based on the plan, so the more elaborate(IE: Other skill checks you have to make) the easier it is to pull off. The more hasty, the harder. You can specialize in certain types of con. So, as GM, I'd recommend the specializations Hacker, Hitter, Grifter, and Thief.

Faith(U) has you spending skill points to believe in god. Any god. Or your own divinity. Or be a patriot. Or really like the XBoX360. Faith is sort of a combination of Willpower(we're getting there), and Scholar:Whatever you have Faith in. You're only supposed to take adds in it if you believe in something big, but... it can be anything bigger than yourself. Even your own ego. As willpower is used to resist interrogation, you can indeed use your Faith(Toyota) to resist torture. "The Toyota Tacoma wouldn't break down if you demolished a building under it! I'm not going to break from a couple battery cables!"

Interrogation(U) lets you interrogate people. It has it's own section on the interaction chart. The specializations are types of people you like to torture, and ways you like to torture them. Moving on.

Intimidation(U) is what it says on the tin, and has it's own section on the Interaction chart. It's specializations are types of people you like to scare the crap out of, and the ways you like to paint their trousers brown.

Moving on... You get another chart!


Streetwise(U) is exactly what everyone expects it to be. It's being able to survive in a slightly lawless urban environment. I love, however, that in, say New York City you only need an eight to ask a police officer "How much do I need to pay you for you not to take me to jail right now?" Naturally, it's the 90's, there's more to it than that, it's just not written down on that chart. First you generate the skill total, and then you take into account other things like how much money the person is spending trying to find out, how specific they are, how well known, and a bunch of other stuff that you, the GM, will have to deal with. Specializations: Certain Cities, Criminal Organizations, Certain types of people.

Survival(U) is a macro skill, so you have to chose what type of place you're good with. Jungle survival, Desert Survival, Forest Survival, even Urban Survival. And then there's specializations within the focus, like if you're good at finding food, shelter, places to crap, whatever. The chart is pretty much exactly what you'd expect, and there's a note stating that it's humanocentric, if your character is from a desert world, that'd be Easy instead of grasslands and woods. The part where it gets all 90's is that you have to figure out how close the environment they happen to be in is to whatever their focus is, and subtract Adds for every step away. A guy with forest would only be a slight disadvantage in the jungle or grasslands, but totally lost in the city.

Willpower(U) is your catch all defensive skill for interaction abilities and mental attacks. It's good against Intimidation, interrogation, torture, and Psionic Attack. You can specialize in any of them, but if you have Psi resistance, you can't use Willpower to resist psionic attacks.

Charisma

Charm(U) is used to make friends and influence people. It's a long process and it's "involves serious roleplaying --- not just rolling the dice". Complete rules are found in the rule book. You can specialize in Seduction or Friendliness. Meaning you too can be a pick-up artist, so long as you don't mind creeping on your GM.

Disguise(U) alters your features. Base difficulty is eight, and it's got a chart. Long story short, though, it's no surprise Joseph failed the trick the Nazis, as he had to get 12 with no ranks in the skill. Your success levels determine how well they hold up. You can specialize in Stage Costuming and Impromptu Disguises.

Persuasion(U) covers bargaining, browbeating, and bribery. It also covers Logic and reason but those don't start with B. Short story is the other guy resists with willpower. Long story is, look at chapter three in the rule book.

Taunt(U) is also explained elsewhere, so they're not going to give you more than "It is used to insult, upset and annoy a target so that he will think less clearly and will not be able to react with good judgment."

So that's attributes and skills done.

Bonus Character Concepts
Reading through this with intent to explain it has resulted in my noticing weird confluences of skills. When I get done with the player book, I'm going to post a PDF of various Wacky, not for serious use characters that have been inspired by both the thread and the rules. So that if you ever have a Shatterzone GM, you can at least drive him half as mad as he'll drive you. They're incomplete for now, and just sketches of the sort of insane poo poo you... won't actually find in this game.

Detective Tongue
It's strange how few people understand what you understand. The world is a veritable cornucopia of flavors, and they all mean something. From the pain and fear the meat went through as it died, to the type of motor oil used in the car... you know it all. Of course, given that your species communicates through taste and only uses sounds when you cant touch each other, you tend to be looked at funny for licking people's hands and peeing on the carpet. It's not easy being a three foot tall pink lizard.
Quote: "Lick! Licki-tongue."
Mind 13
Perception:5 Taste 6
Background Advantages: Eat Anything(Xeno-Ability 2) Extra Skill Add (Perception) Fame 2(It's that alien detective that licks things!)
Background compensation: Alien Prejudice 3(non-humanoid), Metabolic Difference(Eat all the things!(Xeno-Flaw 1)), Alien Outlook(Xeno Flaw 2), Language 1(Can understand Terran/Standard, can't speak it)

A.P.C.
You're really, really good at moving people. Freakishly good, in fact. Not terribly bright though. That's okay, the little man you wear on your back does the thinking.
Quote: "Push wheel?"
Mechanical Maneuver 3
Running 2 While Encumbered 6
Lifting 1 People 6
Faith: Little man in bag 5

Captian Corp
All these people, they don't understand what you understand. The Company is Mother and Father. The Company takes care of all of us. Especially you. They wouldn't have put so much time and effort into you if that weren't the case. You're their hands on the street and their face on the ceral box... and occasional serial bus.
Quote: "What, you think this A on my head is for Omni Consumer Products?"
Fire Combat 2 Rifles 6
Faith: Megacorp of Choice 5
Charm 2 Friendliness 6
Persuasion 2 Buy My poo poo 6
Background Advantage: Cybernetics 3(Top of the line, rare stuff)

Scientist Solarian
Quote: "Do you want me to sing the song? I can sing the song again."
Fire Combat 4
Intellect 13
Scholar: Medicine 5
Mind 14
Artist: Singing 5(Total 19)
Medicine 5
Science:Genetic engineering (5)
Background Advantages: Ability Limit Increase: Mind(3 points) Extra Skill Add(Medicine, Artist, Scholar Medicine, Science Genetic Engineering)
Background Compensations: Cold Blooded (Xeno Flaw 2) Metabolic Differences(Xeno Flaw 1)

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Qwo
Sep 27, 2011


I would pay serious money for an English translation of Almogavars.

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