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Davin Valkri
Apr 8, 2011

Maybe you're weighing the moral pros and cons but let me assure you that OH MY GOD
SHOOT ME IN THE GODDAMNED FACE
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!

Ratoslov posted:

Of course Fields was able to gently caress up a vocaloid d20 race.

I thought it was Chobits, but that one works too. And as someone who literally made up a (male) Vocaloid for a game, it pisses me off as well. Why do I need to care about that stuff for my human-looking android?!

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FMguru
Sep 10, 2003

peed on;
sexually

Ratoslov posted:

Totally. That sounds amazing. It sounds like an entire game setting based off of taking brown acid and staring at prog rock album covers.
Kult is the unofficial Clive Barker splatterpunk RPG (in the same way the Vampire is the unofficial Anne Rice Modern Gothic Horror RPG), so it's chock full of over-the-top modern (well, 1990s modern) gross horror.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!

PresidentBeard posted:

Having played with some of them it's less that they don't play, and more that they play a VERY different game than normal D&D.

Yeah, I'm overgeneralizing, but it is a game for some of those who buy but don't (or can't) play.

Also if Chris Fields has an active play group, I'd rather just not know. I don't want to think of people voluntarily sitting across a table from that guy.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011
I would like to hear about the Kult supplement.

Additionally, A|State has a great setting and it's my personal belief that A|State, Cold City and Hot War are all linked somehow.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

La morte non ha sesso

Bigup DJ posted:

Speaking of '90s game design, would anyone like to me cover Metropolis? It's a supplement for Kult concerning the stuff covered here by Purple.


Hell yeah. I was always curious about Kult until it showed up in F&F.

Tasoth posted:

Additionally, A|State has a great setting and it's my personal belief that A|State, Cold City and Hot War are all linked somehow.
There was supposed to be a supplement which would reveal several possible versions of the origin of The City, but I don't think it ever came out. I've also heard about a "The Truth" supplement for SLA Industries that would do that same thing for that setting.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.


Grimey Drawer

quote:

In Changeling, High King David suddenly ups and disappears, which is the first time this plot point has ever occurred in a White Wolf book (except maybe with Charon, or Dante, or Caine, or Saulot). Everyone's now at war with one another, and all the pookas can do is wonder why every one is so drat serious all of a sudden.

My Changeling ST got so pissed off at me when I read the back cover for the first book in that series and said, 'Great. HK David's going to go missing and war's going to erupt, giving them an excuse to rewrite the setting.'

'His sister will become regent,' she snooted.

I laughed. First, White Wolf. I mean... yeah. Second, while she loved the Sidhe and the crappy SCA fantasy they forced everyone to live in, there were a lot of changelings who remembered the Accordance War.

But anyway.

TSR was a big fan of the metaplot routine, back in the day. Dark Sun is probably the biggest offender, as the official setting material lives, breathes and drags behind the events of a series of novels titled the Prism Pentad. It got to the point where the heroes of the novels killed the biggest bad in the setting and unleashed a cataclysm that paved the way for a new boxed set.

Did your PCs think they knocked that one city-state over? No, it was these guys. They took over that other one? No, it's in ruins, along with half of the known world. That cool way the series' sue learned to draw power from the sun, instead of draining life from the world? She's explicitly unique, and in the booklet they threw together where you literally get to follow her around for a dozen encounters, they statted her in such a way that reverse engineering her abilities and giving them to a PC would cause serious balance issues.

But at least they didn't kill any classes with that one.

The first time I saw it, back before I knew this sort of thing had a name, and possibly before one had been coined, was when AD&D went from first edition to second. They did this with a multimedia extravaganza: tie-in comic books, novels, adventure modules... all surrounding the euphemistically named Time of Troubles, when the gods' dad took away the keys to the godmobile and booted them out to live on Faerun for a while.

poo poo happened. Lots of poo poo, really, but chief among them was the prolonged and explicit destruction of an entire character class.

First edition shed several classes during the transition to second, ostensibly part of the slimming down they were giving the whole line. Barbarians and cavaliers got the axe because they were mechanically weird and just as easily expressed as fighters. Illusionists were being folded into the specialist wizard rules. Monks were mechanically weird and kind of dumb. Assassins...

Assassins were a problem. The same kind of problem that led to demons, devils, et cetera being kept out of the works and eventually snuck back in after some vigorous search-and-replacing. Assassins really couldn't be reskinned the same way. They were typically evil, used bad stuff like poison, and had a chance to instantly kill, which all kind of flew in the face of the newer, somewhat gentler rules.

So, they killed them off... along with their patron god, though I can't recall which went first. They were very clear that everyone with the class had their souls sucked out and used as fuel, and strongly suggested that assassin PCs be binned completely. If someone really wanted to keep playing their character, it was suggested that they be restatted as a fighter or thief, because assassins were mechanically weird, kind of dumb, and explicitly no longer supported.

Oh, and they capped Magic Missile at five dice and Fireball at ten, because magic got all hosed up.

Cardiovorax
Jun 5, 2011

I mean, if you're a successful actress and you go out of the house in a skirt and without underwear, knowing that paparazzi are just waiting for opportunities like this and that it has happened many times before, then there's really nobody you can blame for it but yourself.
Kult is kinda awesome in that hilarious 90s way, do show it off.

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

If you will not serve in combat, you will serve on the firing line!




Bieeardo posted:

The first time I saw it, back before I knew this sort of thing had a name, and possibly before one had been coined, was when AD&D went from first edition to second. They did this with a multimedia extravaganza: tie-in comic books, novels, adventure modules... all surrounding the euphemistically named Time of Troubles, when the gods' dad took away the keys to the godmobile and booted them out to live on Faerun for a while.

Speaking of which it's kinda fascinating to see that WOTC still keeps going with the whole metaplot thing considering the changes they've decided to go through with Faerun for 5th ed.

Bigup DJ
Nov 8, 2012
Great! I'll have the intro written up within the week.

MJ12
Apr 8, 2009

Halloween Jack posted:

Nah, man. China and Japan are super awesome in the World of Darkness because the Kuei-Jin are so much smarter and wiser and prettier and cooler and better with katanas than you.

Yeah but then you have the "Asian Technocracy", which could not figure out why for the life of it its hyperadvanced technomagical liquid metal jade spirit-powered shapeshifting tiger assassins tended to break down and go insane at the worst of times.

I think their collective stupidity more than makes up for literally everything else. "Makes up".

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008

Cooked Auto posted:

Speaking of which it's kinda fascinating to see that WOTC still keeps going with the whole metaplot thing considering the changes they've decided to go through with Faerun for 5th ed.
I've always felt that was a by-product of how tightly the mechanics were tied to the Forgotten Realms setting. Like, the character in Faerun know that spell levels are a thing that exist, or what abilities clerics get based on their god, so now TSR had to reflect those changes in the setting rather than just doing what most games would do nowadays, which is say "who cares?"

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine

MJ12 posted:

Yeah but then you have the "Asian Technocracy", which could not figure out why for the life of it its hyperadvanced technomagical liquid metal jade spirit-powered shapeshifting tiger assassins tended to break down and go insane at the worst of times.

I think their collective stupidity more than makes up for literally everything else. "Makes up".

To be fair, that's less Ha Ha Orientals and more Ha Ha Technocracy Is poo poo.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
:blizz::gamefreak:
I just love the stupidity of the Asian branch of the Technos being named "Zaibatsu".

Cardiovorax
Jun 5, 2011

I mean, if you're a successful actress and you go out of the house in a skirt and without underwear, knowing that paparazzi are just waiting for opportunities like this and that it has happened many times before, then there's really nobody you can blame for it but yourself.
They're not, I think they're called the Five Metal Dragons, which is actually kinda cool.

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine
I think their actual name is The Five Metal Dragons, but everybody in "the west" calls them the Zaibatsu because who the gently caress cares it's oWoD.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
:blizz::gamefreak:

Mr. Maltose posted:

I think their actual name is The Five Metal Dragons, but everybody in "the west" calls them the Zaibatsu because who the gently caress cares it's oWoD.

Oh, okay, that's infinitely less dumb then.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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

Actually, I am pretty sure the Zaibatsu are a different group than the Five Metal Dragons.

But even I'm not sure and I did the loving writeup for that book.

Mors Rattus fucked around with this message at 02:55 on Nov 13, 2013

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

FMguru posted:

The Sabbat-equivalent of the Tremere got blown the gently caress up, too, IIRC.

Mage had the Avatar Storm the occurred between Mage 2E and Mage 2E Revised, which destroyed access to the pocket dimension where all the super-powerful setting NPCs lived and made it much harder to do any kind of astral travel.

I played a voodoo shaman type (I know that sounds kinda racist) in oMage since I liked the concept, but I didn't realize the Avatar Storm had nerfed Spirit so it made me sorta useless.
I vote for a review of anything but Unknown Armies, both because I think everyone in this thread knows about it and because I'm so obsessed with that game that I turn into a raving conspiracy spouting sperg everytime its mentioned and I don't want to end up at the 24 hour McDonalds at 4am begging for a minor charge. And we have a massive thread about it already. A-State or that 80s splatter punk game sound fun.
Wasn't there a Burning Wheel Dune game called Jihad? I remember feeling really paranoid about downloading the file.

MonsieurChoc
Oct 12, 2013
Probation
Can't post for 14 days!

Kurieg posted:

Ravnos were written out for a couple of reasons, their clan power was Chimerstry, which allowed them to create illusions that were more real than reality. Used properly you could invalidate any social or combat encounter by making your foe react to false stimuli and do something dumb. They were also the "Gypsy" clan, and they fell onto a lot of the same problems that the Gypsy oWoD book had. They also had a clan specific path known as the 'Path of Paradox', more commonly known as the 'Path of whatever I was going to do anyway' because of it's hierarchy of sins.


Stargazers got shipped overseas because they had 5 Willpower and Kalindo. Before that change almost every single combat monkey was a Lupus Ahroun Stargazer with 5 dots in kalindo.

Actually, you couldn't start with higher than 2 in Kailindo, and that was if you got a good mentor and your Storyteller let you. It was still broken as poo poo though.

:goonsay:

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:

According to my oWoD Cheat Sheet, Saulot took over Tremere's body, Tremere's soul fled and took over Goratrix' body, Then Tremere bound Goratrix in a magic mirror, called the Antitribu to a house party in Mexico City and killed them all.

I can't help see this as Gus Fring's Cartel party in Breaking Bad.
I like the idea of cutting out all the supernatural politics and leaving WoD characters alone in a world that sucks. Isn't that the point of the WoD?

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

La morte non ha sesso

Count Chocula posted:

Wasn't there a Burning Wheel Dune game called Jihad? I remember feeling really paranoid about downloading the file.
Burning Jihad is pretty cool. I never got around to reading through the Burning Wheel system, so I can't really comment on that aspect of it except that it definitely gives you lifepaths to play an Imperial noble or a Fremen.

The only thing about it is that like a lot of Luke Crane stuff, it's set up for a specific campaign. Specifically, the game takes place during Paul's jihad, and the PCs play either a House of the Landsraad trying to resist Paul's war of conquest, or a group of Fremen jihadi. The jihadi win, no ifs ands or buts.

MonsieurChoc
Oct 12, 2013
Probation
Can't post for 14 days!
Another thing I "like" about the Vampire metaplot is how they finally wrote good-to-great clanbooks for Ravnos, Setites and (especially) Assamites, but by then the metaplot had already done it's damage. Heck, the Ravnos had already been wiped out when their (average-to-good) clanbook came out!

AmiYumi
Oct 10, 2005

I FORGOT TO HAIL KING TORG

MonsieurChoc posted:

Heck, the Ravnos had already been wiped out when their (average-to-good) clanbook came out!
I posit that only made the Clanbook better, since the whole thing was presented in a very "here's how poo poo used to be, but keep in mind it's mostly irrelevant now and also anybody who could corroborate this poo poo got iced" way. A bigger problem was the way NPCs escaped the "and every Ravnos hears their founder's death-scream and goes into a murder-frenzy" aspect, though - a lot of "you seemed squirrely, so we staked you for a while" and even a "well I felt a bit of an itch to murder, so I took a nap for a few days" IIRC.

And then, later, the Vampire writing team forgot that Ravnos' death-curse was explicitly an angry curse on his lineage based on his unique discipline clouding their thoughts, and just made it "this is a thing that happens when antediluveans die".

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

La morte non ha sesso
Justin Achilli's Clanbook Brujah is a good example of the kind of "damage control" he tried to run as creative lead of the Revised era, even if stuff like the Week of Nightmares still happened. For example, the Brujah Clanbook really tried to play down the notion that there are a zillion vampires of every clan and zillions of rare bloodlines running around.

Kurieg posted:

Ravnos were written out for a couple of reasons, their clan power was Chimerstry, which allowed them to create illusions that were more real than reality. Used properly you could invalidate any social or combat encounter by making your foe react to false stimuli and do something dumb. They were also the "Gypsy" clan, and they fell onto a lot of the same problems that the Gypsy oWoD book had. They also had a clan specific path known as the 'Path of Paradox', more commonly known as the 'Path of whatever I was going to do anyway' because of it's hierarchy of sins.
I hold up the Path of Paradox as the gold standard of horribly written Paths. I'm not a huge cheerleader for WoD's morality systems anyway, but whoever wrote the Path of Paradox didn't understand the way Paths/Humanity are supposed to work at all.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!

Halloween Jack posted:

I hold up the Path of Paradox as the gold standard of horribly written Paths. I'm not a huge cheerleader for WoD's morality systems anyway, but whoever wrote the Path of Paradox didn't understand the way Paths/Humanity are supposed to work at all.

It was from the Players Guide 2e, which has so many cooks it's hard to figure out who would be to blame. They came up with a revised version later, but I'm not sure the sort of people who played Ravnos would care.

Come to think of it, I think I've played every one of the thirteen main clans except Ravnos at one point or another. Ugh, too many vampires.

Libertad!
Oct 30, 2013

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


Dragonlance Key of Destiny Adventure Path, Book One Chapter 2: The Mystery Unfolds

Ideally the authors estimate that the PCs should be 3rd level at this point, 4th or 5th level by the time they reach the Shattered Temple of Hurim. This is overall accurate, although in my several times of DMing this adventure my groups did not hit 5th level that early. Very dedicated and meticulous parties could theoretically reach this amount of experience, though.



Khur is an arid nation of desert and badlands, flanked by Neraka to the north and Silvanesti to the south. The majority of its people are nomads divided into seven large tribes, with a few large cities. The PCs have between 50-75 miles of travel from Pashin to the ruins of Hurim, averaging 3 to 5 days of travel.

This section of the adventure shifts to wilderness travel, and Key of Destiny does not disappoint in this regard. Extensive detail the flora, fauna, and weather conditions of locations is present throughout the entire adventure path. It really helps the DM create a descriptive picture beyond random encounters. Southern Khur is a land of extremes, of great heat in the daytime and bitter cold at night. Clouds are sparse, leading a famous poet to describe the night sky as "a polished bowl of obsidian, scattered with a glittering spray of diamond dust." Small animals such as insects, lizards, and various birds of prey survive in the harsh lands, with some cheetahs, elephants, and other large mammals in the fertile valley between the Thon-Thalas River. Unique plant life includes the dangerous crystalline Shimmerweed, whose radiance can fascinate onlookers into docility for other predators, the dense living stones which are actually calcified petals saturated with concentrated proteins and minerals, and the Broad-Leaf which gathers moisture from passing fogs which sweep across the desert.

Random encounter-wise, the desert's relatively uneventful, usually in the form of giant ants, minotaur scouts, friendly centaurs, and bandits (who are all mounted on horseback and can thus be difficult, but a great reward for slow-moving PCs). Two of them are semi-linked as part of a mini-story: two giant eagle parents had their eggs stolen by draconians, humanoid dragon-men who broke off from the Dark Knights. If the PCs can help find and rescue their eggs, they'll be gifted with a one-use magic item: a Feather Whistle which can summon the eagles to fight for them in combat. Nifty!


Of course, given that the PCs were just dropped into the middle of the desert, they are probably in need of some supplies. Not to worry, for eventually they run into the Mikku, one of the seven major Khurish tribes!

quote:

In the distance you begin to make out the sounds of laughter, of voices raised in conversation and song.

You can spot the source of the noise. Situated in a dry gully is a large nomad encampment. Bright, colorful tents are spread like a field of windflowers, vivid even in the dying light of the setting sun. The camp's arranged in concentric circles, the largest tents situated near the center, ringing an enormous bonfire.

Most of the campers are situated near the camp's heart, where a celebration is being held. Scantily-clad figures wrapped in billowing scarves with gem-like hues dance about the bonfire, accompanied by a boisterous cacophony of dozens of instruments playing a raucous tune.

The Mikku are a tribe of performers who've traveled the length and breadth of Khur. They're camping out in preparation for the annual Khur festival, months away but no less eager for practice. They'll be friendly upon meeting the PCs, and if they do not take hostile action will be escorted by warriors to Alakar the Silent, the tribe's leader. Alakar encourages them to join in the festivities and will be happy to answer any of their questions, which are interspersed with small talk and ensuring that they feel welcome in the camp. As a sign of hospitality, they'll be offered salt with their meals. A bond of salt signifies that the guests will come to no harm as long as they remain within the giver's house (or tribe, in this case). This was actually a real-world tradition among Arabs in the distant past.



Alakar is more than happy to tell them the history of Khur and the tribes, and of Hurim and the Shattered Temple.

Basically, about 400 years ago, eastern Ansalon was dominated by the Empire of Istar. They started out as a Lawful Good theocracy who genuinely brought about a high standard of living among the people and a safe haven for the faithful of the Gods of Light. The last Kingpriest, Beldinas, became increasingly power-mad and delusional in his quest to purge the world of evil, harming countless innocents and bringing the wrath of the Gods of Light through a terrible event known as the Cataclysm. A giant meteor descended upon the capital, plunging a good portion of the region underwater and irreversibly changing the landscape.

Khur was a fertile grassland before the Cataclysm (known as the Drowning to the Khur), which created that sea on the map via huge floods. During the chaos, a single leader named Keja arose to unite the tribes and forge a new nation. After his death each of his sons split up and led their own tribes, which are now known as the Fin-Masker, Hachakee, Mayakhur, Tondoon, Weya-Lu, Mikku, and the "true" Khur).

Before the Cataclysm, Hurim served as an Istaran outpost. As more pilgrims settled, a temple was built, open to all worshipers of the Gods of Light. During the Night of Betrayal one of the priests helped an ogre army slaughter the temple's inhabitants, and a dire curse was left upon the valley. From that day since, no Khur set foot within and lived beyond the next lunar cycle. The Cataclysm generated a landslide which sealed off the valley, and no one has seen fit to clear it.

There's also a seer named Asmara in the camp, who can read the PCs futures. The DM is encouraged to make some up to flesh out their own side plots and play upon PC backstories, although 3 sample readings are provided detailing future events in the adventure path.

quote:

"And one shall stand upon the backs of nature's builders, walk across a floor that lives, and speak to a voice that is one above the many."

"A figure of fire and damnation, forged from a Dragon's blood but seeming Abyss born, stands guard over a weapon of light long since lost..."

"The dead are restless, driven by ancient jealousies and conflicts, fight in a graveyard over the soul of one believed forever beyond reach."

:tali:Vague Prophecy Count: 7. The first refers to a sapient ant colony in Chapter 5, the second towards Sindra (evil dragonspawn villain) and Huma's Lance, the third towards Lothian and Kayleigh. The things are too vague that the PCs, even if they piece it together, will not gain any special insight until they actually encounter the characters mentioned. It's more of an "Oh, I get it!" than a puzzle for the players to unravel.


Strange Visitors in the Night



The characters are given a tent to sleep in for the night. During their rest a ghostly entity will approach the nearest elf or spellcasting PC (or selected randomly in the case of neither) around early morning. It takes the form of a little girl who will begin speaking even if nobody spots her.

quote:

You hear the soft, lilting sound of a young girl's voice.

“You must hurry… the winds carry the voices of many spirits, and they are crying for help. You must keep the key safe otherwise all will be lost. In the temple of the betrayed, you must find the shard of light. It shall lead you on the path you have been chosen to walk.”

Before you have a chance to respond or question the young girl any further, she rises to her feet and quickly disappears out of your tent. Suddenly, you hear a high-pitched whistling sound as the leather flaps of your tent shake wildly and a whirlwind tears through the opening.

Two air elementals suddenly manifest and attack the PCs! They strike as a warning, not to kill, and will disappear in 3 rounds if not slain by then.

Lothian's manipulation again. For someone who wants the PCs to succeed, he sure loves throwing dangerous stuff at the PCs!:v:

The Mikku rush to the scene to find out what's going on, Alakar parting through the crowd with a concerned look on his face. Once the party describes what happened, Asmara will ask worriedly if the child had blue eyes, if she was Uleena.

Regardless of their response, she will stand for a bit, looking off into space (but actually looking beyond the mortal veil), before confirming her fears. "Yes, it was Uleena."

Uleena was Alakar's daughter, gifted with the abilities of a seer and trained by Asmara. She died from a landslide a year ago, the same one responsible for opening up the Valley of Hurim (if you're confused, the valley was closed during the Cataclysm and opened a year ago). Alakar will ask what Uleena told them; although he doesn't know of the Shard of Light, he believes that they are marked by the Gods will ensure that the PCs are escorted safely to the Valley for the rest of their trip (but none in the tribe will accompany them inside).

The Ruins of Hurim



The Mikku stop outside the entrance to the valley proper. There is a citrus grove to the north of Hurim the Mikku will stop at, and will wait for a week for the PCs. After giving them supplies and a back-pounding slap on the back, Alakar prays that the Gods watch over them and that they might meet again.

Hurim is where things start getting serious. Undead are present as random encounters, even at daytime (although in smaller numbers), and the curse suffuses everywhere outside the Shattered Temple with a Desecrate spell, buffing undead and evil/necromantic spells. At night an unnatural fog floats above the ground all across the valley. Monstrous scorpions, zombies, skeletons, wights, and kender are but a few horrors the PCs can expect to encounter in this forsaken place.

You read that right, Kender.

A single one-time unique encounter is with Thanator "Shroud" Grave-eyes, a Kender gifted with the ability to communicate with the spirits of the dead. The PCs find him casually talking to a skull, asking it all sorts of odd questions. What happened here, do you know my Aunt Ashe, what's your name? Scuttles? Hey Scuttles, have I told you about the time that my Aunt Ashe talked to the spirit of Fistandantalus, she said that he was a skull just like you except he still had all his teeth and...

He'll be more than happy to accompany the PCs on their travels within the valley...

:spooky:AS A KENDER DMPC!!!:spooky:

Seriously, Shroud is a 5th level Rogue/1st level Nightstalker (Kender Prestige Class which grants spellcasting and a ghost companion). The adventure advises the DM to use him as back-up so as not to overshadow the PCs, but that's not gonna happen. You see, a lot of the enemies encountered are undead, and thus immune to sneak attacks. His sole spell is Deathwatch, which isn't really useful in battle than pointing the Cleric on who to heal. He can turn undead 4 times a day (although he's not very good at it), and he has no ranks in Search, decreasing his ability to find any traps. What he is good at are Opening Locks (+13) and Spotting hidden objects and creatures (+13). He's pretty much built to be a minion/back-up.

The interesting features of Hurim include the entrance (RH1), guarded by a hungry pack of mountain lions. RH2's a guard tower inhabited by 2 shadows and a spectral guardian, a ghost who valiantly stands watch even in death. He must continue his duty until the spirits of his men find peace. The men who did not pass on to the afterlife are the shadow monsters in the basement. If the PCs are willing to help him, he will reveal reveal a secret compartment behind his corpse if they defeat the shadows. He thanks them and as he passes on as "his form is swept away into nothingness as if by an invisible river." Said compartment contains his private journal containing notes on the Temple, some potions, and a magic sword emblazoned with the title "Kiss of the Desert Sky." It's a +1 Shocking Burst Longsword with blue-tinted steel and lightning motif etched into the handle.

This is a really sweet weapon for the party's melee characters, and it was the favorite of my party's Barbarian for quite some time (until Book 2, if I remember correctly). From this point on, permanent magic items have been rare in the adventure. Beforehand the PCs could have gotten a +1 dagger at the Dark Knight Enclave, a +1 Rapier from Aranol Nightblade, and a +1 Bashing Shield and Oil of Magic Weapon from the Ghast Lair in the sewers of Pashin (all in Chapter 1).

As you can tell, combat with incorporeal undead can be really tough at this point in the game if the PCs missed any of these. The dagger in particularly is almost never found by my groups as escape was their first priority, while the others are stumbled upon mostly by chance. I'd recommend making these previous weapons easier to find if you run the adventure path yourself, or cut down on the number of incorporeal undead.

RH3 is a wild orchard home to a dryad who has been driven insane by the horrors she saw. She and her monstrous plants will attack the PCs if they don't depart from her domain:



quote:

Her flesh is dark and knotty like tree bark, with a thick, sickly-looking moss spreading across her limbs. Her fingers end in long, thornlike claws, and her hair crackles in the breeze like the dead leaves of winter. Her eyes glow with an unnatural incandescence as she speaks harshly in the Common tongue. "Be gone now, or your flesh shall be flayed from your body, my pretty flowers shall drink of your blood as your bones are ground into the earth beneath my feet.

Barring killing her, the PCs can complete the encounter if they cast any beneficial spell (remove disease, cure wounds, etc) on the tree, the dryad gains a new saving throw to recover from her madness. She'll be grateful to the PCs for freeing her from her torment, and will reveal the location of a small hoard of treasure she accumulated over the years.

And yes, saving the Dryad grants bonus experience points as opposed to just killing her. Heroism!

RH4 is a dry spring housing hundreds of skeletons impaled upon sharp rocks. During the ogre assault the monsters tossed the dead and the dying into the lake, sometimes to dispose of bodies and sometimes for fun. A single wraith, the spirit of one of the dead, lairs here.

RH5 is the Pathway of the Gods, a gently sloping trail leading up to the temple, flanked by ten pure white marble statues, half of them demolished and their fragments scattered about the sand. The columns once represented the five "lesser" gods of light (Branchala, Habbakuk, Kiri-Jolith, Majere, and Solinari) in pairs, and the temple itself was flanked by the Father (Paladine) and the Mother (Mishakal) at the top. There is enough sacred energy remaining within the statues to dissipate the Desecrate curse, and the PCs will notice a difference in the air, as if the terrible sense of dread is now more... distant.

The text highly recommends introducing Shroud here if they haven't encountered him, because his special ability allows him to communicate with the spectral flickers in the Temple "and thus makes an excellent guide." And if they're too low-level to go in yet, he can guide the PCs to the orchard or fortress to "show them something interesting."

Haven't our poor PCs suffered enough?

Thoughts so far: Shorter and more linear in comparison to Chapter One, this part more than makes up for it in mood and feel. Your group might have a lot more trouble if they don't have a Good-aligned Cleric in the group (unless they're experienced min-maxers who know what they're doing). If anything, the better sense of direction made this more enjoyable for me to run and my group to play, as they had a clear goal and I did not lack in description of the wilderness of Khur or the foreboding aura of Hurim.

Next time, Chapter 3, the Shattered Temple.

Libertad! fucked around with this message at 04:38 on Nov 13, 2013

Glazius
Jul 22, 2007

Hail all those who are able,
any mouse can,
any mouse will,
but the Guard prevail.

Clapping Larry

Libertad! posted:

The text highly recommends introducing Shroud here if they haven't encountered him, because his special ability allows him to communicate with the spectral flickers in the Temple "and thus makes an excellent guide."

An excellent guide... who can't search for traps.

Has he got ranks in Spot or something because that's what they thought it was?

Libertad!
Oct 30, 2013

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

Glazius posted:

An excellent guide... who can't search for traps.

Has he got ranks in Spot or something because that's what they thought it was?

He's got a +13 bonus, so he's good at spotting hidden opponents, at least. Shroud's really just a second set of eyes... and a glorified translator for spirits.:ghost:

Angrymog
Jan 29, 2012

Really Madcats

Evil Mastermind posted:

Who got wiped out in Mage? I know it was the Ravnos (because their antideluvian woke up) and the Stargazers (who just took their ball and went home), but I don't remember Mage having anything that earth-shaking happen.

Avatar storm cutting off access to the umbra unles syou feel like getting shredded. I only played Mage in a 1st/2nd edition hybrid, because Revised took out too much of what I loved about it. (Mainly the ability to turn vampires into lawnchairs - Life 4, matter 4 and Prime 2 if you wanted it to be permanent iirc.)

I'm sure some people played Mage as a serious game, but we er.. didn't. It was all about wierd arcane heroics for us.

Edit: I started Nightlife in the old thread, then depression got in the way. I saw it mentioned here - I'd like to try and finish it. I will do a post on Sunday.

AmiYumi
Oct 10, 2005

I FORGOT TO HAIL KING TORG

Libertad! posted:

He's got a +13 bonus, so he's good at spotting hidden opponents, at least. Shroud's really just a second set of eyes... and a glorified translator for spirits.:ghost:
The way you're describing him, it almost sounds like they intentionally set up a minion/future-cohort NPC, which is a good idea...except then they had to ruin it by making him 1) terrible at his self-described job, and 2) a kender, which "properly roleplayed", is going to mean no one in the party listens to his "guys guys hey guys I see something guys HEY HEY" act when it's actually meaningful, because he does it every 20 seconds no matter what.

Libertad!
Oct 30, 2013

You can have the last word, but I'll have the last laugh!
Key of Destiny is rather fond of throwing in NPC allies to accompany the party, although few remain for the majority of the campaign. In regards to Shroud, he's actually one of the worse ones, so look on the bright side! We've got nowhere to go but up when it comes to temporary DMPCs!

My group(s) weren't fond of Shroud, either. One of them chased him away, the other used him as trap/monster bait.

Back in high school I just ran the Key of Destiny for new groups. A lot of us were into Eragon around that time, so I felt that a fantasy epic style adventure path would be more appealing to new players than a standard dungeon crawl for loot.

Here's the full statblock for Shroud:




Death Sight is a 1st-level Nightstalker ability which grants Detect Undead as a spell-like ability 1/day, except he does not need to maintain concentration for its duration.

So yeah, he isn't really doing anything that a Cleric or Rogue of much lower level can't do.

And I was wrong on his Spot modifier; it's 1 worse!

Libertad! fucked around with this message at 07:56 on Nov 13, 2013

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012
Fallen Rib

Angrymog posted:

Avatar storm cutting off access to the umbra unles syou feel like getting shredded. I only played Mage in a 1st/2nd edition hybrid, because Revised took out too much of what I loved about it. (Mainly the ability to turn vampires into lawnchairs - Life 4, matter 4 and Prime 2 if you wanted it to be permanent iirc.)

I'm sure some people played Mage as a serious game, but we er.. didn't. It was all about wierd arcane heroics for us.

I am in no way, shape, or form a WoD gamer, I wound up passing that whole milieu by in favor of Feng Shui and Shadowrun, but hang around any tabletop RPG forum long enough and you're bound to accumulate knowledge of the various different Mage flamewar-starters simply by osmosis and this one right here is one of the biggest. From what I'm given to understand the guy in charge of making Revised what it was did what he did precisely because, as you say, people were playing Mage as a game of weird arcane heroics when a few people in charge thought it should be all grim and grounded and bleak. So a number of the changes in Revised, prominently among them the Avatar storm, were put in place specifically to be invisible walls intended to push people into playing Mage "properly."

AccidentalHipster
Jul 5, 2013

Whadda ya MEAN ya never heard of Dan Brereton?

Libertad! posted:

Key of Destiny is rather fond of throwing in NPC allies to accompany the party, although few remain for the majority of the campaign. In regards to Shroud, he's actually one of the worse ones, so look on the bright side! We've got nowhere to go but up when it comes to temporary DMPCs!

My group(s) weren't fond of Shroud, either. One of them chased him away, the other used him as trap/monster bait.

Back in high school I just ran the Key of Destiny for new groups. A lot of us were into Eragon around that time, so I felt that a fantasy epic style adventure path would be more appealing to new players than a standard dungeon crawl for loot.

Here's the full statblock for Shroud:




Death Sight is a 1st-level Nightstalker ability which grants Detect Undead as a spell-like ability 1/day, except he does not need to maintain concentration for its duration.

So yeah, he isn't really doing anything that a Cleric or Rogue of much lower level can't do.

And I was wrong on his Spot modifier; it's 1 worse!

A kender DMPC being trap bait at his best is perfectly in keeping with RPG writers making kender awful. I may sound like a heretic for saying this, but kender can be played in nonawful ways. I actually played a fair number of kender when I first got in to roleplay, and the only person I annoyed was the DM when I mocked his mary sues. The secret is to be Pippen Took instead of a You Testament NPC. I can't understand why so many RPG writers don't get this.

On a happier note, my copy of Double Cross came in today (well, technically yesterday) and I'll begin writing part 2 of my Dungeons: the Dragoning write-up soon. Soon meaning "When I can be pried away from DX" If anyon still wants to suggest Dungeons: the Dragoning characters, go nuts.

Punting
Sep 9, 2007
I am very witty: nit-witty, dim-witty, and half-witty.

AccidentalHipster posted:

A kender DMPC being trap bait at his best is perfectly in keeping with RPG writers making kender awful. I may sound like a heretic for saying this, but kender can be played in nonawful ways. I actually played a fair number of kender when I first got in to roleplay, and the only person I annoyed was the DM when I mocked his mary sues. The secret is to be Pippen Took instead of a You Testament NPC. I can't understand why so many RPG writers don't get this.

On a happier note, my copy of Double Cross came in today (well, technically yesterday) and I'll begin writing part 2 of my Dungeons: the Dragoning write-up soon. Soon meaning "When I can be pried away from DX" If anyon still wants to suggest Dungeons: the Dragoning characters, go nuts.

Roll up a Dragonblooded, Heart-Aspected, Ork wizard of Malal.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.


Grimey Drawer

Kai Tave posted:

From what I'm given to understand the guy in charge of making Revised what it was did what he did precisely because, as you say, people were playing Mage as a game of weird arcane heroics when a few people in charge thought it should be all grim and grounded and bleak. So a number of the changes in Revised, prominently among them the Avatar storm, were put in place specifically to be invisible walls intended to push people into playing Mage "properly."

I had similar feelings when the new editor for Vampire came in, wrote a huge essay in which he revealed that the Assamites were no longer under their Curse, and mentioned at the very end that Baba Yaga had cacked it. At the time, it felt like a new comics line editor coming in with a bushel of opinions and an eagerness to put them into effect, a la Spider-Man's marriage getting retconned. Likewise oChangeling Revised, where the tension between modernist commoners and ironically hidebound, medievalist nobles was wiped away in favor of the Old Ways being Good, and anything you couldn't sneak past a Renfaire costumer being Bad.

All hail the designer's Vision, I guess.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
:blizz::gamefreak:

Kai Tave posted:

I am in no way, shape, or form a WoD gamer, I wound up passing that whole milieu by in favor of Feng Shui and Shadowrun, but hang around any tabletop RPG forum long enough and you're bound to accumulate knowledge of the various different Mage flamewar-starters simply by osmosis and this one right here is one of the biggest. From what I'm given to understand the guy in charge of making Revised what it was did what he did precisely because, as you say, people were playing Mage as a game of weird arcane heroics when a few people in charge thought it should be all grim and grounded and bleak. So a number of the changes in Revised, prominently among them the Avatar storm, were put in place specifically to be invisible walls intended to push people into playing Mage "properly."

It's worth noting here that after being removed as the line editor on Werewolf, Bill Bridges took over Mage shortly before work begain on Revised. I'm betting most of the "Get out of the umbra, sit your asses down, and let me tell you about how technology is bad." parts of Mage Revised were his doing.

Bieeardo posted:

I had similar feelings when the new editor for Vampire came in, wrote a huge essay in which he revealed that the Assamites were no longer under their Curse, and mentioned at the very end that Baba Yaga had cacked it. At the time, it felt like a new comics line editor coming in with a bushel of opinions and an eagerness to put them into effect, a la Spider-Man's marriage getting retconned. Likewise oChangeling Revised, where the tension between modernist commoners and ironically hidebound, medievalist nobles was wiped away in favor of the Old Ways being Good, and anything you couldn't sneak past a Renfaire costumer being Bad.

All hail the designer's Vision, I guess.

I'm not sure where the changeling change came from as He's not listed as an editor on that book, but I'm sure there was some cross pollination of ideas there.

I think Apocalypse (and by extension Werewolf: revised) is the only book where the young upstarts who don't believe in absolute strict adherence to hidebound ritual are shown to be correct.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

La morte non ha sesso
I didn't keep up with Werewolf much, but I can't think of any situation where Glass Walkers messing about with their pagers and Internets was shown to be Caveman Science Fiction that would doom us all. It was usually the most traditionalist tribes who were playing right into the Wyrm's hands by being warmongering dicks.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
:blizz::gamefreak:
In the few Pre-Revised books I've been able to get my hands on, Glass Walkers were David Xanitos level schemers that were actually running the Garou Nation behind the Silver Fangs backs but were selling their tribe to the Weaver in the process because they aren't TRUE WOLVES.

Post-revised they're just one tribe with problems amongst an entire nation with problems. The only real overt references to them being ebil and wrong is in Red Talons (surprising no-one) and Stargazers, where much of the second half of the book boils down to "Every other changing breed in the world is wrong, the Weaver is the true enemy. Only we, unclouded by rage as we are, are properly equipped to see the truth of things."

The one thing that Apocalypse does do is that one Koinetzko ascends to power, he realizes that the Shadow Lord generations-long revenge plot will probably end up getting everyone killed and rather than filling every single position of power throughout the nation with Shadow Lords(like his tribe expects him to do) he instead puts people suited to that position, regardless of tribal affiliation or even fealty to him. It works, but everyone is left kind of going "What the hell just happened?"

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.


Grimey Drawer
They ended up putting the kibosh on Glass Walkers cybering themselves to the gills, didn't they? Not as sweeping a change as things like the Avatar Storm, but given that some of them were basically angry daggits it was a breath of fresh air.

Some things disappointed me about Mage: Revised, but I did really like the clear statement that while the willworkers were busy flying up their own asses, the Sleepers simply stopped giving a poo poo. Spirituality? Meh. Dolly the sheep? Who gives a tug? Get out of the way, Survivor's on.

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Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
:blizz::gamefreak:

Bieeardo posted:

They ended up putting the kibosh on Glass Walkers cybering themselves to the gills, didn't they? Not as sweeping a change as things like the Avatar Storm, but given that some of them were basically angry daggits it was a breath of fresh air.

The head of the Cyber Dogs had more than a few screws loose and I think at one point he was kidnapping lupus from other tribes to forcibly cyber them to try and show people how awesome cybertechnology was, including some Red Talon pups. Once the rest of the Glass walkers found out he was kicked out of the tribe and hunted down.

There are still a few around but they're much more subdued and well aware that they're persona non grata in the tribe.

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