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MJ12
Apr 8, 2009



Mr. Maltose posted:

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

It isn't, though? Iteration X has a ton of heavy hitter stuff they don't deploy on Earth because they know it breaks down fast. The NWO have like... no vulgar tech. Same for the Syndicate. Even the fairly vulgar HITMark V is superficially near-future 80s cyberpunk science fiction. The Technocracy knows about subtlety and paradox even if it doesn't quite use the same terms. The FIVE METAL DRAGONS are completely clueless.

The FIVE METAL DRAGONS have, as their standard assassin robot, something that does not even try to look plausible.

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Xelkelvos
Dec 19, 2012


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.

A Mithril Promethean Tau Tech Priest of the Omnissiah

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




MJ12 posted:

It isn't, though? Iteration X has a ton of heavy hitter stuff they don't deploy on Earth because they know it breaks down fast. The NWO have like... no vulgar tech. Same for the Syndicate. Even the fairly vulgar HITMark V is superficially near-future 80s cyberpunk science fiction. The Technocracy knows about subtlety and paradox even if it doesn't quite use the same terms. The FIVE METAL DRAGONS are completely clueless.

The FIVE METAL DRAGONS have, as their standard assassin robot, something that does not even try to look plausible.
"Standard assassin robot" is a beautiful summation of why I wish Mage had never ever been part of the World of Darkness.

MJ12
Apr 8, 2009



Halloween Jack posted:

"Standard assassin robot" is a beautiful summation of why I wish Mage had never ever been part of the World of Darkness.

So what do you think about Demon: The Descent?

I always thought the occasional sci-fi in the World of Darkness was actually quite important in making it its own Thing rather than yet another generic thing. It's not exactly hard to excise if you're not a fan of it and it adds a bit of uniqueness to the world's feeling.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




The new Demon doesn't sound like sci-fi to me at all. It was really less about having sci-fi in the WoD at all and more the way it's represented. People who have had their bodies and souls hollowed out and turned into killing machines? Cool. Literal Terminator rip-offs? Please no. Exploring the Deep Umbra in an astral U-boat? Cool. Literal Star Trek rip-offs? Go away.

The thing I like least about Mage is that it subsumes the mythology of all the other games into itself, at least in the view of the people with whom I played. Fans who endlessly nitpick over the boundaries of the other planes and whatnot were one of the worst things about oWoD fandom and are the worst thing about nWoD fandom. Defining cosmology to the Nth degree is a very good way to suck all the atmosphere out of a horror setting.

DicktheCat
Feb 15, 2011



Seconding Kult! I really want to hear more about that one! It sounds stupid-awesome.

That Old Tree
Jun 23, 2012

nah




You know what? gently caress this poo poo. It's time for a behind the scenes look at…



Haha no, just kidding. Imma FF MERP!

MIDDLE-EARTH ROLEPLAYING
Second Edition Core book

Lord of the Rings is the second set of "real" books I ever read. (The first are the excellent and far more concise Prydain Chronicles that got me reading things other than sequential art boxes containing Spider-men and Flashes.) Once upon a time I owned three different editions of Lord of the Rings in varying iterations of one to three volumes. I still have my original copy of The Silmarillion, its cover barely hanging on thanks to some neon green Elmer's applied in the depths of high school. In synchronicity with Lord of the Rings being the first books that I bought and owned, Middle-earth Role Playing was the first RPG book I ever boughtpestered my mother to buy for me.

For the better part of a decade after that I was the worst kind of Tolkien nerd. I count myself lucky that the internet was more difficult and less permanent back then. It's easy now to admit that the detailing of a modern novel combined with the storytelling sensibilities of an ancient epic don't always make for the most gripping experience. Still I want to tell you about these old, dusty books. There's a lot left in them to love, even twenty or more years after the fact. Of course, with a game this old there's plenty to snicker at and roll your eyes over, too—especially if you're a Tolkien nerd.

So, let me tell you how many hit points a balrog has!


Is that Viggo Mortensen on the right? Yeah, that looks like him. Hi, Viggo!

This cover is by Angus McBride, like so many others from Iron Crown Enterprises (ICE; MERP's publisher) and the MERP line in particular. He's dead now, and so is this game line, but while they were together he was an icon of glorious Middle-earth art. When the line was starting, his enthusiasm for Lord of the Rings made him jump at the chance to provide cheap rates and free already-finished art to the fledgling ICE. There are many McBride pieces scattered throughout the books, especially the core, and a whole lot of the cover art for the game line is by him. While Angus McBride is King of Art on the covers, he has to share the inside of the books with the Queen, Liz Danforth. She is a super cool lady who is still alive and still doing game art.


Remember how Bilbo just went crazy berserker after that troll's nuts? Yeah, me neither!

Enough happy memories! Here's the first page of the table of contents:



Yeah, this is reflective of ICE. I mean, it's not really a bad TOC, but man, just glance at that. It's like an accounting sheet. And "The Setting" is three pages long? gently caress! Oh, well.

The book proper begins with Part I • Introduction. We're greeted with:

quote:

"Three rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie."

—Gandalf quoting an ancient verse to Frodo Baggins
LotR I, p. 81.

This haunting quote captures the essence of the saga known as The Lord of the Rings. The stirring words refer to the epic struggle of Eru's Children—Elves, Dwarves, and Men—against the frightening evil spawned by the Dark Lord, Sauron of Mordor. This tale ranks among the greatest annals of fantasy. Its setting, Middle-earth, is as rich a land as any in literature.

Hold up nerd. "Eru's Children"? Galadriel didn't say anything about that in the voiceover! Is this going to be on the test?

No, it's not. This introduction will make some use of the expanded "canon" of Tolkien's notes beyond LotR, but in all honesty it almost never matters throughout most of the game line. Sure, you can get a "deeper appreciation" for the write-up of Fëanor in Elves if you've read The Silmarillion. I'd feel the same way about a write-up of Sigurd after reading the The Ring of the Nibelung, but nine doctors agree that's not going to have much impact on my Knight of the Round in a Pendragon game. This poo poo's mostly here for nerds to nerd about, and to give bad GM's something to occasionally Elminster their players with.


There are a couple more paragraphs about how Middle-earth is great and this is a game about that. Then we proceed to a pretty typical "What is a Fantasy Role Playing Game?" section. Next up a more specific "Adventuring in Middle-earth" section that briefly tells the reader why they're here—because Middle-earth is in its way a gripping, deep setting, and that it has an elemental struggle of the righteous against the wicked that everyone can get into.


"You know what, Gimli? Yes. Yes there is such a thing as 'too much pipeweed.'"

"The Place Called Middle-earth" follows, where we get a little taste of what distinguishes MERP most from other Tolkien-based licensed RPGs. We don't just hear about the Shire and Gondor and Mordor. We are told about the continents of the world, Endor (Middle-earth), Aman (the Blessed Land) and Mórenorë (the Dark Land), amounting to a list of progressively less-detailed bits of setting notes from Tolkien's archives. A hallmark of ICE's approach to LotR was to take up the sparse loose threads from Tolkien's notes and weave grand, new, and frequently tonally-inconsistent frontiers. Here we just get a tiny taste, a little blurb about the Dark Land, and then a list of the seas of the world. There's Belegaer, the Great Sea you can find on the usual Middle-earth map everyone's at least glanced at, then there's Ekkaia and Haragaer, more names for things beyond the scope of LotR and, it will turn out, beyond the scope of the game line, too.

Now we come to one of the more pertinent parts that leans on the expanded canon, "Magic, Myths & Religion." This is more relevant than all that other world-building crap so far because the books barely stray beyond the borders of the Middle-earth we're all familiar with, but no fantasy setting would be complete without gods to swear about/on/to. This section very briefly describes the deity figures of Middle-earth, pulling information primarily from the first part of The Silmarillion that covers the creation myth of the setting. Here, I'll let it tell you:

quote:

Eru, the One—the only true deity—created Arda. First, however, he conceived the Ainur, or "Powers." The first beings to enter Tolkien's world, the Ainur actually shaped Arda according to Eru's scheme.

The Ainur are all-powerful, immortal spirits. They include the exalted Valar, like Manwë and Varda, as well as the Maiar, who include Sauron and the five Wizards. Most of the Ainur (including all but one of the Valar) remain faithful to their creator. Others, like Sauron and the Balrogs, have fallen from grace.

While their direct influence in Endor wanes with each passing Age, the Powers remain the most potent beings in Existence. The peoples of Middle-earth still worship their various incarnations in countless ways. After all, they represent Eru's Thought, his great Themes.

What follows is a list of the Valar, those spirits in the setting that most resemble your typical fantasy pantheon. They're listed with their "proper" name, an additional title/name, and then a sentence describing their pokemon typeprimordial assocations. The only ones you really need to keep in mind for most of the game line are:

Manwë: Pretty much King God. He's the Master of Air, which is relevant sometimes when the giant eagles come up, but mostly he's the basic stand-in for any invocation of "God" when Eru the For Reals God is too over-the-top an authority to swear on.

Varda (Elbereth): Queen God, Mistress of the Stars. She's probably the most-invoked deity in all the Tolkien canon, because the Elves and her are Besties . She was the Power Word that Frodo yelled at the giant spider in the cave just before he got to Mordor.

Melkor (Morgoth): The Great Enemy. Pride Goeth Before the Fall, etc. Sauron was his right-hand sorcerer. Once the strongest of the Valar, Melkor screwed with Eru's original plan for the World and continued to do so after apologizing repeatedly because he is an Artist and you should respect his Vision. After some ancient poo poo went down the Elves named him Morgoth, "Black Enemy", and no one speaks his true name anymore. Morgoth's efforts diminished him to the point that the Valar rolled him up in a rug and dumped him in a ravineshackled him and banished him to the Outer Darkness. Despite that he is Outside Existence and has been for many thousands of years, he is probably the most-mentioned deity in MERP because Satan is always more interesting than God.


Of course, if I ever review Valar & Maiar you'll get two facefuls of lore nobody needs to care about.

The last bit of this part of the introduction is "Your Character in Middle-earth" which is pretty much just more " Middle-earth this is an RPG make it your own interactive swine storytelling experienceFantasy Roleplaying Adventure." But before that we get to "Magic & Power" which has some advice about how magic works in Tolkien's world and how it can be corrupting and draw the attention of evil things. However, instead of really discussing that I'm going to quote the back of the book.

quote:

• A Magic System with simple yet comprehensive rules that reflect the unique nature of the use of magic and power in Middle-earth.

This is a lie. This is such a bald-faced, wrong-headed lie that it is terrifying in how wrong it is. Impressionable Tolkien fanatics lost hazy hours trying to reconcile this deception with the clear contradictions that were the printed magic rules in the book's pages. This is truly the Worst Thing.


But we'll get to that later. We're not even out of the Introduction yet! Don't worry, there's not much left. Well, there's a pretty big chunk left, but most of it is made up of synopses of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. You can git on over to Wikipedia or read the books if you don't know this poo poo already.

Mercifully we get to some real, bone-deep role playing stuff: A sample adventure. It's helpfully titled "A Sample FRP Adventure." It's presented as a transcript of the table talk between unnamed players as their characters seek shelter in an abandoned tower as night approaches. (As you do.) It stars Agonar the Elven Mage, Leanan the Dunlending Animist (hill folk shaman), Nári Zigildûn the Dwarven Warrior (noted to be of indeterminate gender because all Dwarves have beards), and Drogo Bracegirdle the DothrakiHobbit Scout (thief/rogue) because of course.

The group cautiously approaches the tower—by which I mean the Hobbit Scout sneaks up and everyone else piles up behind him. Luckily there's a treasure chest on the first floor because of course so everyone else prepares to loot the poo poo out of it while our Hobbit friend continues to search for danger. Nári covers the others with his crossbow and Leanan starts jimmying the chest. The Elven Mage casts wingardium leviosa because why the gently caress not?

But hark and forsooth! There are three Orcs in the basement. They have stirred and are coming up the stairs! Nári immediately shoots one to death with a crossbow and then draws his battle-axe because of course . Of the remaining Orcs one runs away and the other charges the defenseless and distracted Leanan. This being a Tolkien-esque fantasy where you play your favorite righteous heroes from the books, our timid, Hobbit burglarScout immediately tries to backstab the fleeing enemy. He fumbles and drops his sword. Luckily, our levitating Mage uses his really useful vantage point to cast Sleep on the Orc charging the shaman, which makes it even easier for the Dwarf to crush the black savagemonster's leg bone with a blow from his axe.


Even the example of play map sketch made your other RPG's maps feel inadequate.

This example of play demonstrates a bunch of concepts that will actually be introduced on the following pages, or even much later in the book. A peculiar mechanic is referred to as 'activity', where the GM measures some progress of the Orcs as they prepare to gather their gear and strike out. It's been a while, but I'm pretty sure this was only ever an optional rule in a very optional Rolemaster supplement from the mid-80's.

One of the key things it introduces to a newcomer are Rolemaster's conception of critical hits. This is just as much Greek as a similar D&D exercise if you've never played that game, but to a veteran role player of the 80's and 90's it teases what could be called a more robust and dynamic combat system. Hit points are counted in the dozens, "'D' Puncture criticals" skewer Orcs through the neck while "'C' Crush criticals" break legs. It's all very exciting to a bloodthirsty teenager, and one of the clearest signs of how MERP was 'Rolemaster lite' long before HARP and Rolemaster Express and all that stuff in between.

Last of the Introduction, I swear!

We get a chapter breakdown and "Learning to Use MERP" that advises that people wanting to play the game should read the rules. We have a full-page sidebar called "Moving from LOR to MERP." LOR, or Lord of the Rings Adventure Game, was a simpler, more D&D Basic RPG that presumed fixed scenarios and used six-sided dice. This sidebar is here to confuse and anger you by at first looking like a guide to converting your game, when really it's just a page-long advertisement telling you how much cooler MERP is. "One kind of Elf? MERP game has three kinds of Elf! "

The penultimate page describes the basic dice rolling convention. This is a 1-100 roll on 2d10, with some obvious variants for generating other numbers like 5-50. The last page is a very brief glossary. Most of the terms are typical of furping around, but I'll describe some below that are peculiar to Rolemaster and MERP.

Maneuver: Everything in this game is a Maneuver . Running is a Maneuver. Attacking is a Maneuver. Picking a lock is a Maneuver. Maneuvers that involve big movements are "Moving Maneuvers", like climbing a rope or surfing down some stairs on a shield in a movie that doesn't quite capture its source material. "Static Maneuvers" are most everything else, like sculpting a pot, gardening, crafting armor or screaming defiantly at a hell demon while teetering on a clownishly tiny bridge. There are also sometimes "Special Maneuvers" like use of the Ambush skill which you don't use to actually make ambushes!

Offensive Bonus: The bonus you apply to attack rolls. This and the next entry aren't really explained so much in the glossary but I'm doing it here because it will be important to know before we actually get to the part of the book that explains this poo poo.

Parry: In MERP and Rolemaster (and HARP and Spacemaster and—whatever) you don't usually want to apply your entire Offensive Bonus to your attacks, because innate defenses in these games are pretty low. You increase your defense by reducing your Offensive Bonus and applying that reduction as a bonus to your Defensive Bonus.

Power Points: Magic points. It's magic points.

Profession: Class. It's character class.

Resistance Roll: Saving throws.

That's it for the Introduction! Tune in next time for Chapter II: CHARTS CHARTS CHARTS CHARTSCharacter Creation!

I doubt this will be the most entertaining F&F but I hope I'm not too boring!

That Old Tree fucked around with this message at 07:50 on Nov 14, 2013

goatface
Dec 5, 2007

I had a video of that when I was about 6.

I remember it being shit.




Grimey Drawer

I made the worlds greatest baker in a version of MERP. He was a swarthy outsider of the wild, who was pretty rubbish at all of that but could do magnificent things with pastry. We never did work out if we were building characters properly, because holy gently caress there were a lot of steps.

Cyphoderus
Apr 21, 2010

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




DOUBLE CROSS

Episode VII - What do you do with Loises, anyway?
-and-
How to Put Yout Boot Through Someone's Stomach, The Easy Way


So what do you do with Loises, anyway? Well, one not-that-small part of it is using them as plot hooks, character motivations and a guideline as to which interactions are important to the character and which aren't. But Loises also have a mechanical purpose. It happens during the Backtrack phase of play. If you recall from last time, Backtrack happens after the Climax, after the final battle. It's the time when Overeds look at themselves in the mirror and realise how deep into the rabbit hole they were forced to go to face the threat of the Climax. You're a Gjaum, Harry.

First, let's talk about Encroachment Rate a little bit. It's not useless. Yes, it's a number representing the slow but unstoppable countdown until your ego, memories, desires and dreams all become the psychological equivalent of a sunny-side up egg, but it also makes an Overed powerful. You've got two effects: high ER gives you dice bonuses to all rolls, and high ER gives you a bonus to the level of all your powers.

During the Climax, the game suggests the use of Impulse Checks, but they can happen any time during play, in theory. They're for when something stresses an Overed so much the Renegade boils and the character's Impulse takes over for a while: the Overed goes berserk. Literally, Berserk is the name of the combat condition you get. It restricts your actions a little bit, you get more aggressive. Other than that, the other penalty of an Impulse Check is 2d10 ER for just having to make one. Ouch!

But there's a way back into humanity. When the abyss is staring at you, you can still spit at its eyes. Your way back are Loises. Your relationships with your fellow humans, with the things you believe in, are what will ultimately save your sanity.

It works like this: during the Backtrack phase, for every Lois you have, you get to roll 1d10. Subtract the sum of the dice from your total Encroachment Rate. So if you have 4 Loises, you get to reduce 4d10 from your ER.

Sometimes that's not enough. You can choose to roll as if you had double the Loises you have. If you do that, no matter what final ER you end up with, you only get 3 XP for it. Even if it is 99%. If that's still not enough, you can roll again, subtracting an additional (Loises)d10 from your ER. If you go for this, your final Encroachment Rate gives you 0 XP. Remember that at the end of a session, all ER under 100% resets to its base rate, so this is all to save a character from going over 100%.

Here is the issue: during the course of the session, your relationships will change. Actions will be taken, words will be spoken, lives will get in each other's ways and nothing will be the same again. If something happens that fundamentally changes the relationship you have with a Lois – say, if the person dies, or betrays you, or you betray them – the relationship becomes a Titus instead. Loises are named after Lois Lane, while Tituses are named after Titus Andronicus.

Tituses do not help a character reduce their ER during Backtrack. But they do have a use: a Titus is a potential for new life. Letting go of your past, opening the way for new relationships, is power. You can discard a Titus, get rid of that relationship forever, for a one-time bonus on a roll. Titus bonuses are the greatest in the game. You can choose among a few options, including adding 10d10 to your pool and increasing your final result by 1d10. Discarding Tituses at the Climax as your character goes through life-changing epiphanies while fighting the big bad villain is the quintessential Double Cross experience.



Brawlin'

And now it's time for something completely different: combat rules! We'll focus just on the interesting ones, as the details here are only useful for actually playing the game, not reading about it.

The standard attack roll is cool. The attacker rolls a skill, based on what kind of attack it is: Melee for fists and melee weapons, Ranged for firearms, Renegade Control for raw powers. Remember how powers listed which skill they rolled? This is where it comes into play. The defender gets a choice: they can either dodge or guard. Dodging means the attack roll is opposed, with the defender rolling their Dodge skill. If the defender wins, the attack whiffs completely. If the defender chooses to guard instead, the attack connects automatically.

Damage is 1d10 + (n. of dice rolled in the previous step/10)d10 + Attack Power of the power or weapon. For instance, if you rolled 12d10 to hit in the previous step, you roll 2d10 + Atk. Power for damage. Really accurate attacks grant bonuses to damage. For Attack Power, a standard katana has 5, a handgun has 3, and most level 1 powers are around that range as well. Damage is reduced by the defender's armour (a sturdy leather jacket has 2). If the defender is guarding, their Guard stat further reduces damage. The Guard stat depends on the weapon; a katana has 3, firearms have 0, and there are lots of powers that create barriers that increase this as well.

Initiative isn't rolled or anything. Character act in order of their Initiative stat.

During your round, you get a minor action and a major action, in this order. If you forego your minor and perform a major, your turn ends. Minor actions are used primarily for moving and changing equipment, including drawing weapons.

Major actions include most things, like dashing (moving double your regular amount), breaking away from Engagements, attacking, etc. One cool thing here is that characters reduced to 0 HP are incapacitated. It takes a major action to kill an incapacitated character, but you can declare it in unison with an attack. What this means is that it's easy to just kill of someone in battle, but if they're lying there on the floor you have to spend a major action to finish them off. You monster.

An Engagement is an abstract measure of distance in the battlefield. Characters that can target each other in melee are in the same Engagement, but remember that "melee" is flexible and the kind of media DX emulates is all about really athletic fights. In my mind, the average Engagement spans something like 10m (30ft).

You can't move past an Engagement; if you run into one, you stop and stay there.If you want to leave an Engagement, you have to Break Away, which takes a major action and you can't enter any other Engagements with it. If it's hard to Break Away – say, if you're in a narrow tunnel or inside a burning building or something – it might require an opposed check against the opponents.

One fun little rule is that characters can channel Final Fantasy and simply escape from battle. You have to use a major action to dash (double your movement). If you can do that without coming across an Engagement, you escape and effectively vanish from the scene.

Characters at 0 HP are incapacitated and go back 1 HP when the battle ends. There is no death in DX until someone explicitly declares they are killing an incapacitated character. If that happens, however...

quote:

Pray for the character's soul and prepare to make a new character.
Thanks, Double Cross!

There are Bad Statuses as well. These are videogame-like. Taint is a gradual HP drain. Rigor stops you from moving. Hatred means you must attack your hated target. And so on. Usually you can just use a minor or major action and declare you're getting rid of the Bad Status. No roll is needed, but you use your action up.

Some characters have a special property called Flight. This means they can't be blocked by anyone except other characters with Flight (yep, it's Magic). You can move freely between Engagements, and a regular minor action move counts as Breaking Away. If you are in an Engagement, however, the other people in there can target you with melee attacks. Flight doesn't protect you from that. Which ties back into the whole "athletic melee" theme.

Another special combat property is Stealth. If you're in Stealth, no one can target you with anything. You can enter stealth by using a major action when you're not in an Engagement. Performing any action or taking damage negates Stealth.

There are also Vehicles. These are dead simple: you use a minor action to get in or out of one, and you get bonuses to stats depending on the vehicle. You also get the option of a ramming attack, which is just a melee attack with the Ride skill, and of transporting other people with you.

If you haven't acted this round yet, you can Cover other characters, putting yourself in harm's way and protecting them. You're considered to be guarding for that, and you lose your action for the round. You can do this even if the attack targets an entire area; just think of a dramatic huddle.

DX doesn't track ammunition or throwing items or anything. Just assume you have an extra clip somewhere in the folds of your clothing and extra throwing knives strapped to your leg.

Of course, there are powers that interact with every single aspect of combat described thus far. Not only regular attacking and defending, but there's, just to name a few, an Angel Halo power that cloaks you in refracted light so you enter Stealth in a minor action, a Balor power that slams enemies into the ground with gravity so they lose Flight, a Chimera power that lets you move super-fast to Cover allies and not lose a turn... there's a lot of variety.

Investigations

This doesn't fit anywhere else, so it's going here. DX offers a page on investigation scenes, where the characters are just out looking for information. The attetion is nice, but it's just telling you to use Info checks. It says players can spend their Savings points on investigations, representing them paying off informants or bribing their way to solving the mysteries.

Next time: the setting! Japan, the UGN, civilian militias, criminal organisations, Renegade Beings!

Okay, real talk. Are the updates too long like this? Should I split the Syndrome Dossiers and post them separately? I'd hate for this to become too long for comfortable reading.



Syndrome Dossier, Part B

The Angel Halo

Angel Halo is the Syndrome of light. These Overeds are adept at manipulating lasers, refractions, images, and enhancing their senses. The Syndrome is named like this because the users are known to... shine. Literally.

Angel Halo is the sneakiest Syndrome. Being able to bend light around yourself means you have extreme ease in entering stealth and staying there, hiding the source of your attacks so opponents won't know what hit them. And if the enemy tries to hide, your enhanced vision means they won't get to stay hidden for long. Your senses are incredible, and being able to mess around with the way light bounces off things and into your eyes means you won't ever need to use eyeglasses again. The fact that an Angel Halo can see very far away and be very precise through the use of light lenses means most of them are excellent marksmen. Every gun you hold is a sniper rifle.

Defensively, you are deceptive. You like to stay far away and shoot enemies; if they get too close, you use your enhanced senses to dodge and have something akin to a spider sense. It's hard to attack an Angel Halo because they keep themselves surrounded with mirrors, and when you think you've got them it turns out it was just an illusory after-image. You can produce quick flashes that blind enemies for a short while and allow you to break away from close combat and return to your safe marksman position.

The Angel Halo is nothing to scoff at in direct combat, though. Some Angel Halos have mastered the art of creating lasers of burning light. They shoot blinding laser rays at their enemies with pinpoint accuracy at their weak points. When attacking directly, the Angel Halo enjoys opening the opponent's guard with blinding flashes of consufing light or distracting them with illusions.

Pure-Breed Angel Halos have two exclusive tricks up their sleeves: one is to create a single burst of bright light that illuminates everything around and leaves no place for any foe to hide in; with everything revealed to them, the Angel Halo attacks. The other is the opposite; by stealing all the light away from the enemy and making them effectively blind for an instant, the Overed can drastically reduce the efficiency of the enemy's actions.

Angel Halos with high Encroachment Rates get to create multiple simultaneous illusory copies of themselves, produce so bright a flash they can move freely under cover of the light and attack, use an illusory doppleganger of themselves to flank and target the enemy's weak spot, and reflect damage they take back at the attacker in a burst of light, as if they were themselves a mirror.

An Angel Halo's Simple Powers include dramatically improving their hearing or sense of smell (allowing one to "see" particles, including bacteria and viruses). They can light an area of make it dark with no effort. They can enhance their vision to such a level as being able to see starts during the day. They can cast illusions over themselves, and project the appearance of someone else. And they can cast projections to make an instant bat-symbol up in the clouds or screen a movie on a whim or anything else.

The Balor

Balor time! This one is among my favourites. These Overeds can produce small, floating pitch-black spheres, called "evil eyes". By rotating, compressing, and expanding these spheres, they can manipulate gravity around themselves. It's like having a pet sphere of annihilation. The Syndrome is named after a Celtic god who is said to have an evil eye.

Balors can mess with the acceleration and mass of their attacks, increasing their damage and accuracy. This trick works with melee, firearms, and thrown objects: pick this Syndrome if you want to be the cool guy who cuts people with thrown playing cards or opens a hole in people's chests by flicking coins at them. For defense, the Balor can slow enemies down by increasing their mass and reducing their acceleration. They can divert punches thrown at them and make bullets lose their momentum with a thought. They can propel themselves in great speeds away from (or toward, really) danger.

Einsten is a cool guy, and since gravity is just a consequence of the way space is folded around itself, a Balor can mess with it as well. You step out on the street and by the end of that step you're on the other side. Do the seven-league boot trick without breaking a sweat. But wait, doesn't time have something to do with that whole relativity thing? Yes, indeed. Balors can slow down time to make themselves and their allies faster and to foil the enemy. Imagine you're going to shoot at Benny and suddenly Benny is holding your gun. That's what it's like.

On a high Encroachment Rate, the well-meaning Balor will be able to freeze time to create opportunities that even the odds of battle, crush the enemy like a cockroach under their own weight, and... oh, I dunno, maybe creating a black hole is enough for you. Pure-Breeds get to play with space a little bit. Throw a punch and nail the guy all the way across the plaza. Hell, you can throw one single punch and nail everyone in the goddamned plaza at the same time. Dimensions? Hah! You play on another level.

The Balor's Simple Powers are all real cool. There's the boring ones, like making doors go where they aren't supposed to, sensing the movement of things around you through their pull on the fabric of space-time, and making things age at unusual rates (this doesn't work on living things, but if you really need that contract you just faked to look really old...). There's one that slows down time so you can read a book, play videogames, do a workout and take a nap all during your lunch break. There's one that creates a pocket dimension, like if you wanted to have your own Platform 9 3/4.

Most Syndromes have Simple Powers that just make you look cool and nothing else. Balor has got two of them. Stick makes gravity lazy so things will refuse to fall to the floor when you let go of them. But its real use is... well, let the game speak for itself:

quote:

One can also force his hair and sleeves to "hang" in any direction.
I find it genuinely hilarious that they wrote in a power to account for anime hair and jackets.
There's also Tyrant Throne, which has no use at all except make you float really slowly in the air. Never walk again*! Because, as everyone knows:

quote:

Moving at a leisurely pace without being fettered by gravity is the mark of a true tyrant.
We'll leave it at that because wiser words are seldom spoken.

Next time: The Syndrome with lightning bolts and cybernetics! The Syndrome that's kind of gross! Black Dog and Bram Stoker!

* I just realised with this you can make a Balor Stephen Hawking and the concept just won't leave my goddamn mind

FMguru
Sep 10, 2003

peed on;
sexually

goatface posted:

I made the worlds greatest baker in a version of MERP. He was a swarthy outsider of the wild, who was pretty rubbish at all of that but could do magnificent things with pastry. We never did work out if we were building characters properly, because holy gently caress there were a lot of steps.
And remember, MERP is a simplified version of the Rolemaster standard rule set.

And MERP makes a lot more sense when you realize it was originally released in the early 1980s, and its purpose was to describe Tolkien's Middle Earth as a gameable world where you could have D&D style wilderness and dungeon adventures. It's literally just D&D with Nazgul and Palantiri and Balrogs and Mithril and Moria and the Misty Mountains, and it makes almost no effort to connect with any of the themes of Tolkien's writing. So yeah, expect fireball wizards and +4 swords and monsters guarding chests with 4000 silver pieces and two potions of extra healing.

ThisIsNoZaku
Apr 22, 2013

Pew Pew Pew!


FMguru posted:

And remember, MERP is a simplified version of the Rolemaster standard rule set.

I made a Rolemaster character once, with a guy who was a big fan of it. He was using a custom fillable sheet that was something like 20 pages long.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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






Chapter 3: Basic Guidelines:

The Everlasting is the most pretentious game I’ve read, but it is amusing, even when it glosses over basic character stats in favour of quantifying Joseph Campbell. That said, the rules chapter makes me angry. It offers you the choice of three different resolution mechanics, a bunch of extra rules, and typical 90s complexity underneath. Like the introduction, it moves me to pity for anyone whose first RPG purchase was The Everlasting. Both chapters are too busy pontificating about imagination and casually throwing around ill-considered options to explain basic concepts in a straightforward manner, and the organization of topics is consequently scatterbrained.


Do you believe people really eat chocolate-covered grasshoppers?

The cover page for chapter 3 explains that The Everlasting has no rules, only guidelines. This is explicitly to stick it to rules-lawyers and roll-players. The chapter proper begins with a two-page glossary of rules jargon. Besides simple terms like “action” and “difficulty,” it includes campaign jargon like “chapter” and “module,” and highly specific stuff like “debilitating damage.” I’ve never had a game confront me with a rules glossary before explaining how to roll dice. Turns out it’s a lovely idea.

The Everlasting allows each player to choose their own means of task resolution: cards or dice. If you use dice, they’re d12s. If you use cards, aces are worth 1, jacks are worth 11, queens are worth 12, and kings are usually worth 0. Cards are the standard; several optional rules rely on them.

Either way, the basic mechanic is a pool system. You draw/roll a number of cards/dice equal to your Aspect. Any that come up (Difficulty-Skill) are successes. Let’s say you’re chopping off your enemy’s ponytail with your katana. If you have Dexterity 5, Swords 3, and the difficulty is 9, then you draw 5 cards, and anything higher than 6 is a success.

(The standard difficulty of 9, but there is a difficult chart ranging from 5 for “nearly effortless” to 18 for “virtually impossible.” That’s a meaningless guideline in a game where starting characters are badass immortal monsters.)

If that sounds too simple, don’t worry! There are a bunch of advanced and optional rules to make basic task resolution a living hell.

An optional rule is different dice. In this system, children roll d6, mortals roll d8, supernatural mortals roll d10, eldritch roll d12, and “extremely powerful” eldritch roll d20. I guess superhuman stats and magickal powers aren’t enough.

The Everlasting system has disasters, which are a ripoff of White Wolf’s botch rule. Every 1 you roll/draw subtracts a success, and if you pull more 1s than successes, you gently caress up royally. Getting -1 success means humiliation or a minor injury, while -5 successes means you seriously maim yourself and injure your friends in the process.

Extended actions are kind of vague. You have to keep making rolls as often as the Guide demands until you get the total number of successes you need, and a disaster negates your progress.

Combined actions are pretty simple. Everyone gets to roll, and the highest number of successes counts for the group. The Guide can give you a circumstantial bonus or a penalty; it’s easier for 3 people to work together on a house than on a car engine. Makes sense.

Then there are contested actions, which is the loving worst. The worst. The basic rule for it is simple; unless one of you is getting a situational bonus or penalty, you both draw/roll against difficulty 9, and the highest number of successes wins. However, by default every contested action is subject to gambling and bluffing.

Whenever there’s a contested action, anyone can bet 1-3 destiny or experience points on who will win; before any cards are drawn. Then the two contestants draw their cards and put all but one of them face-down on the table. You can look at your own cards and spend a destiny point to redraw one or two cards. You can spend up to 2 DP this way, and once a particular card is redrawn you can’t redraw the new one.

Every single combat action is a contested action. Not since Phoenix Command has a game worked so hard to drive the ratio of realtime-to-game-time so high.

A very important advanced rule is The Mystical Thirteen. Long story short: You can choose to spend 1 DP before you roll to increase the number of the largest number you roll. A 7 becomes 8, etc. But if you roll a 12 or draw a king, instead of the 12 being 12 and the king being an automatic failure, they’re worth 13, which has “great mystical significance.” You get to choose one of the following benefits: 5 successes on this test, the ability to alter the story as if you’d spent 3 DP, or three free successes you can “hold” and spend any time during the course of the story.

Even more complicated is Double or Nothing. Whenever you roll a success by drawing a queen, you can choose to draw one single card--a success doubles your successes, and a failure loses you all your successes. If you drew an ace, that’s an automatic disaster. If you once again draw a queen, you can try to double or nothing again, up to three times.

Combat Guidelines

Combat is part of “mythological adventure” so The Everlasting has a detailed combat system “to keep the legendmaking running smoothly.”

A round is called a combat cycle, which lasts approximately 12 seconds and is split up into 10 turns. (This is the only game I’ve ever seen define the length of a combat turn at 1.2 seconds.) The Everlasting uses a timing system to determine actions, with the character’s Speed attribute determining how often they can act. Many actions require more than one turn, so you can keep track of whether or not one character is still diving and rolling for cover when another begins their action.



Initiative is also complicated and terrible. The game actually leans toward allowing one party to ambush another unless they were honestly expecting a fight, and warns you not to “abuse Initiative” by expecting a stand-up fight. If the ambush is successful, the entire party gets a free action.

Initiative, as you saw, works on a countdown system. All the characters acting in a given turn declare their actions in order of least to greatest Instincts. Whenever you’re attacked, you can trade your next action to make an active defense, giving you two extra cards/dice.


Before you ask, I have not seen any rules for motorcycle legs.

Basic combat resolution is not that complicated, per se. Once again, the problems creep in when you start using the advanced rules and the stupid bidding system. Remember, every attack is a contested action and by default subject to the bidding system.

For hand-to-hand combat, the attacker rolls Dexterity/Weapon skill, and the defender rolls Dexterity/Block or Evasion. The most successes wins.

Ranged combat is more complex. It seems they stole their conception of how ranged combat should work from the Storyteller system; dodging is based on cover and movement, with fuzzy guidelines on how much cover characters have or whether they count as moving while they’re doing other poo poo. If you’re behind cover, you get 0-8 dice based on how much, and roll against difficulty 7. If you’re moving, you roll Dexterity/Evasion with the difficulty based on whether you’re charging, running away, diving for cover, or running in an “evasion pattern.” Running always costs 1 turn, but diving for cover costs 0 and is basically a free defense roll. (But wait, you say. What if I’m moving and I have cover? Answer: Shut up.)

Without running it myself, it appears the net effect is that ranged combat is very powerful, because while unskilled characters won’t be able to hit anyone who isn’t a sitting duck, at high levels attack will quickly outpace defense, just like in Storyteller.

After resolving attacks, any net successes for the attacker are added to the weapon’s damage. The defender gets to roll Resilience (or Spirit to defend against magick) against difficulty 7 to reduce the damage, unless the damage is insidious. So that’s what that means.

If you lose more than half your total Life points to a single attack, you must make a trauma roll. Fail, and you’re knocked out. Even if you succeed, you now have to make trauma rolls every time you take damage.


This game comes down firmly on one side of the goth/punk divide.

There’s a full page of situational modifiers for melee and ranged combat. These range from the simple (higher ground, invisibility) to the hard to adjudicate (flank attack, “firing while moving quickly”) to ones I’m surprised they thought of (fighting while swimming, extreme temperatures). Like just about every single game I played in the 1990s, the situational modifiers can make combat much harder for whoever doesn’t have the GM’s favour. Unlike, for example, Masterbook or later-edition D&D, there’s no maneuvering system for applying status effects to enemies. It’s up to the Guide’s discretion to decide that you’re fighting in close quarters, in the dark, from lower ground, with poor footing, while retreating quickly.

The melee weapon chart has a bit of mechanical intricacy I actually like. The average difficulty to hit with weapons is 10, but some are slightly harder or easier, and some give a bonus or penalty to the person dodging them. (I haven’t run the math, but I believe the differences in difficulty aren’t as drastic as in the Storyteller system, where knives were “broken” due to their low difficulty.)


Pretty sure no other game has “soulstealing” on its weapon chart



The ranged weapon chart isn’t so realistic as to track individual calibers. The base difficulty is always 10, and ranged weapons have limits on how often you can fire them over a combat cycle, regardless of your Speed.

However, after the weapon charts comes a very very bad rule, “Unloading.” If you give up your next action or spend a Destiny point, you can fire as many shots as you normally could in one cycle, in one turn. So if you have Speed 10, on the first turn of the cycle you could fire 3-6 bullets depending on your weapon. This game doesn’t have “autofire” rules; every shot from an assault rifle is an individual attack.




This rule is also terribly written; as you can see, I have to go back and forth between the weapon chart heading and the rule itself to figure out what it means. If I have Speed 10, does that mean I can fire 6 bullets on turns 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9?

Either way, the way to win combat in this game is to have a gun, be skilled with it, ambush your target, and completely unload on them. I suppose that’s “realistic,” but I doubt it’s the result of playtesting.


90sactionhero.jpg

After all these rules on killing people, there’s a section on using medicine to heal them. All the unliving have Regeneration (2), meaning they regain 2 Life at the end of each combat cycle, including the ability to regrow limbs and such. We also learn about their vulnerabilities and what can actually kill them.

Some things, such as magickal weapons, cause debilitating damage to the unliving, meaning they only heal one point every 2 minutes. Each genos also has ways to die the Truth Death--lose all your Life to certain kinds of harm, and you’re dead, dead, dead.

Ghuls have the least to worry about on this front. They take debilitating damage from fire, and they can die the True Death by fire, decapitation, having their heart removed, or being eaten alive, which is no small risk in the ghul world. Revenants take debilitating damage from fire and silver, and can die the True Death by fire, decapitation, silver, or being eaten alive. Vampires are the most vulnerable. They take debilitating damage from fire and sunlight, and can die for realsies-no-dealsies from fire, decapitation, sunlight, or being eaten alive.

Next comes the rules for wound penalties. It’s simple; you get increasing difficulty to all actions when you lose a quarter, half, and three-quarters of your Life.

Percentiles! Holy poo poo! After all that, wedged completely out of order near the end of the chapter, there’s a whole page on using percentiles instead of cards or dice pools. gently caress you, Everlasting, I’m not even reading it, nor will I spend a page ranting on how to integrate it with gambling and bluffing and all those other stupid kludge rules.

Tarot Cards in The Everlasting

You’ve been waiting for this. Don’t lie.

The rules for incorporating Tarot into your game are not nearly as dumb as I expected. I thought it was going to be an alternative to using standard playing cards for task resolution, prompting the Guide to be “imaginative” in interpreting results such as “You stab the ghoul with your katana and do (draws) Moon damage.”


Ace of Katanas not pictured.

You certainly can use the Tarot cards in place of playing cards, by removing the Pages and letting the Knights replace the Jacks. However, “The major arcana represent the portion of the tarot that makes the biggest impact upon legendmaking.” After separating the major arcana, each player draws three. They can play these at any time to temporarily take control of the plot.

In theory, playing major arcana puts the player in the Guide’s seat for a moment. In practice, they’re very limited in what they can affect.

Thematically, “a card must be played in a manner such that what it symbolizes is central to how the participant affects what is going on.” Fair enough. You can’t play the Death card to heal yourself or get a lifetime supply of candy. But they also “cannot alter the entire plot drastically or impact other characters negatively without their controllers’ permission first.” As far as mechanical benefits are concerned, “The major arcana cannot be used to boost scores, alter card draws, or otherwise affect guideline mechanics.”

So what can they do? Well, the book only gives one example.

The Everlasting posted:

For instance, if a participant decided to play the Tower, she might have her protagonist become bound by some addiction, or have him and his fellow protagonists become entombed in a catacomb they are currently exploring.The participant might also point out a supporting character’s self-destructive behavior a nd suggest that it should somehow lead to her demise. The participant might have a supporting character get captured by the antagonist, or have a willing participant’s protagonist suffer some personal tragedy. She might even have her own protagonist fail in an attempt to save some innocent bystander, resulting in the bystander’s death and the protagonist suffering long-term guilt.

Apparently, The Everlasting expects you to use Tarot cards to arbitrarily instigate a subplot that fucks over your PC. Oh, here’s another quote. “Those who use their major arcana to disrupt the legendmaking or simply to glorify their own protagonists can receive Backlash points or have their cards’ effects nullified, if the Guide wishes.”

The rest of the Tarot section is sermonizing on the history of the Tarot and its usefulness as a “tool for self-exploration,” along with a page of associations for the Major Arcana.

The very end of the chapter is a few pieces of gaming advice. There’s a bit more drivel about “developing your personal mythology,” but most of it is common sense. Don’t metagame, work together with the other players, don’t solve everything with combat, and take the initiative instead of reacting.


Hey Dave, there sure is a lot of static electricity in this alleyway...Dave?

Am I the only one with the mounting suspicion that The Everlasting is, well, a fraud? Yes, the rules seem poorly-playtested, and yes, the combat system is too detailed, but those are forgivable. The thing I can’t stand about The Everlasting is that despite its interminable rambling about the imagination, creativity, and personal mythology of the Protagonists, all the rules in The Everlasting come down firmly on the side of the Guide as all-controlling auteur.

Ethos? Can’t change it without the Guide’s permission. Persona traits? High ratings are presented as desirable, but mechanically, they only come into play when the Guide wants to take control of your character. Destiny points? They’re truly only useful for boosting rolls and strokes of good luck, not altering the direction of the plot. Tarot arcana? They get their teeth yanked so you explicitly can’t do anything the Guide doesn’t like.

All of the legendmaking rules in this game are really sticks for the Guide to beat you with if you’re not roleplaying--sorry, legendmaking--in accordance with their vision. The rules for Backlash points are quite explicit about their role as a tool for the Guide to punish players.

Oh, and all that radical alternative GMing stuff in the introduction? Those things chewed up a lot of pagecount in Chapter 1, certainly, but they haven’t been mentioned since. How do all these legendmaking rules and the final authority of the Guide work with “communal protagonists” or when the duties of the Guide are split among multiple people? I have a feeling the answer is that they don’t, because the author never had to deal with it. I’d bet money that those ‘innovations’ are methods that Stephen C. Brown would like you to experiment with, but damned if he bothered thoroughly playtesting himself. It’s probably hard to find a gaming group when you can’t shut up about Wicca and Tarot and Joseph loving Campbell.

Next time, on The Everlasting: To all the ghuls I’ve loved before.

Halloween Jack fucked around with this message at 20:42 on Nov 13, 2013

Ariamaki
Jun 30, 2011

"I'm the most powerful
search engine in the world!"
-- The GoogleProg


Hello thread, I'm Ariamaki, and this write-up is going to cover a long-time personal favorite of mine, the jester king of generic systems: RISUS!




Risus is a lot of things to a lot of people.
Most of them are ridiculous.
The things AND the people, to be clear.

  • Risus is a 6-page game with a 64-page user's manual.
  • Risus is a game where you can yodel someone unto suicide.
  • Risus is a game where your character sheet is about a sentence long.
  • Risus is a game that repeatedly insists it is way worse than it is.
  • Risus is a game where character creation takes twenty seconds.
  • Risus is free.
  • Risus is funny.
  • Risus... has some issues.

It's a game, after all, made by people (well, person). And people (well, person) are capable of mistakes. But the game is still rock-solid, and as a base for other things? May be the best generic system out there. Period.

Risus is inspired, according to the creator (one S. John Ross, who is a pretty swell fellow I have chatted and gamed with on occasion), inspired by West End Games' old Ghostbusters P&P game, as well as the original DC Heroes system. Over time, he says he also got major spurs from Over the Edge by Atlas Games, and both GURPS and FUDGE. I myself am not familiar with all of these, but the ones I do recognize have some pretty heavy influence.

This write-up will probably be several write-ups, actually: First we're going to cover the Risus Core (a hard term to use when it is generously considered 6 pages, probably 3-4 in pure text) in more detail than said core book does itself. Next up, "What amounts to a 64-page user's manual for a six-page RPG", the Risus Companion, which I personally feel is the most important read in the history of the hobby, no matter what system you play. It's that good. And finally (for now), in time for the holidays, we'll be covering / playing the game's most infamous adventure module, A Kringle in Time.

For now, a quick quote from the Companion before we kick off the festivities next post:

S. John Ross posted:

As you read, keep a song in your heart and this sacred mantra in your thoughts: Everything is easy, everything is covered, and there is no wrong way to play.

Next time: The core book, Page 1 (and maybe even 2!)

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012


Halloween Jack posted:

An optional rule is different dice. In this system, children roll d6, mortals roll d8, supernatural mortals roll d10, eldritch roll d12, and “extremely powerful” eldritch roll d20. I guess superhuman stats and magickal powers aren’t enough.

I'm willing to bet they didn't care about balancing playing cards vs dice vs tarot vs gambling because ultimately it doesn't matter, the Storyteller is the only one who's opinion matters.

That said, I can't entirely hate a system that allows for a competent 6 year old to beat up a god who rolled badly.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




FMguru posted:

And MERP makes a lot more sense when you realize it was originally released in the early 1980s, and its purpose was to describe Tolkien's Middle Earth as a gameable world where you could have D&D style wilderness and dungeon adventures. It's literally just D&D with Nazgul and Palantiri and Balrogs and Mithril and Moria and the Misty Mountains, and it makes almost no effort to connect with any of the themes of Tolkien's writing. So yeah, expect fireball wizards and +4 swords and monsters guarding chests with 4000 silver pieces and two potions of extra healing.
The owner of the longstanding game shop in Staunton named MERP as his favourite RPG. To paraphrase him, back in those days the goal was to play D&D in Tolkien's world. Actual setting emulation wasn't really the goal, much less enforcing tone or inculcating literary themes.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

I remember a guy telling me about his group's encounter with a room full of crazed whores. They (the group) were all in plate armour, so the ladies couldn't really do much to them, but the table the prostitutes rolled on kept coming up 'knocked down'.

I'm not sure how long the party spent stunlocked by a bunch of crazy harlots, or why they were trying to fight them in the first place, but that was the closest I've come to seeing Chartmaster actually played.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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






A brief interlude: The art of Everlasting

All the art you've seen so far is from my copy of the original first edition. I wanted to give credit where it's due and show you some samples of the revised PDF.


What is this I don't even


The weight of history.


Rub some lotion on it.


I told you not to run with those.


Hellsing!


Commie Hellsing!


Your poison womb is making Heaven too loving crowded.


It's not the bestest art in the whole world, but I like the Ben Templesmith + Hellsing Ultimate look.

We're only like half done with the book, but the sloggiest parts are done, I believe. Unless I hear otherwise, I'm going to do Dune: Chronicles of the Imperium next. UA was more popular, but I didn't realize it has a huge thread devoted to it. Some other stuff I'm considering doing is a bunch of Eden Studios and Masterbook.

Cyphoderus posted:

Loises are named after Lois Lane, while Tituses are named after Titus Andronicus.
This is the weirdest thing. They couldn't call them, like, Harveys or Osbornes or Talias?

citybeatnik
Mar 1, 2013

You Are All
WEIRDOS





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."

And then the Sons of Ether book came out and basically went "gently caress you I'm going to go punch jetpack nazis while being awesome".

MonsieurChoc
Oct 12, 2013

Every species can smell its own extinction.


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.

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.

The whole apathy thing never worked for me, especially for a game trying to be global like Mage. I mean, looking at the world, it's quite clear apathy hasn't taken over anything. If the game had been restricted to the U.S., it could have worked, but from the get-go Mage had always been pretty global, with Traditions coming from (originally very badly described) all the corners of the world. The whole Paradigm of Apathy therefore fell apart as soon as you looked at it.

Big Hubris
Mar 8, 2011




MonsieurChoc posted:

Traditions coming from (originally very badly described) all the corners of the world. The whole Paradigm of Apathy therefore fell apart as soon as you looked at it.

I always thought it obvious that if the Consensus of Apathy was real the Traditions wouldn't even exist.

Big Hubris fucked around with this message at 01:16 on Nov 14, 2013

Transient People
Dec 22, 2011

"When a man thinketh on anything whatsoever, his next thought after is not altogether so casual as it seems to be. Not every thought to every thought succeeds indifferently."
- Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan

Out of curiosity Cyphoderus, does Stealth in Double Cross fade away when you move, or only when you take more active actions like attacking? Sneaking around would be quite difficult if it required you to reapply it turn after turn, since it would mean you'd be visible for a period of time after all.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

MonsieurChoc posted:

The whole apathy thing never worked for me, especially for a game trying to be global like Mage. I mean, looking at the world, it's quite clear apathy hasn't taken over anything. If the game had been restricted to the U.S., it could have worked, but from the get-go Mage had always been pretty global, with Traditions coming from (originally very badly described) all the corners of the world. The whole Paradigm of Apathy therefore fell apart as soon as you looked at it.

Fair enough, and good point. For me, there was a lot of schadenfreude there. I was sick and tired of all the Secret Masters crap they'd built up around the various splats, especially the Mages, so seeing the Sleepers collectively go 'no, we can look after ourselves, thank you' was... maybe 'refreshing' isn't the right word.

I get the same way when superheroes wallow in soap operatics. Phenomenal cosmic power... and you use it to play high-school level grab-rear end.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

citybeatnik posted:

And then the Sons of Ether book came out and basically went "gently caress you I'm going to go punch jetpack nazis while being awesome".

I'll try and refrain from turning this into a White Wolf chat derail, but White Wolf has a long history of having trouble maintaining consistency (and quality) within its game lines. Freelancers and other writers seem to just do whatever the hell they feel like half the time with minimal oversight and by the time it comes to the line manager's attention it's too late to send it back for serious revisions, just a quick edit or two and it's off to print.

They seemed to get a lot better with that after the new World of Darkness came out though you still had exceptions here and there (like Changing Breeds, the book so bad that the people running Werewolf: the Forsaken didn't want it branded as part of that gameline).

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




Bieeardo posted:

I get the same way when superheroes wallow in soap operatics. Phenomenal cosmic power... and you use it to play high-school level grab-rear end.
Superhero comics have advanced dramatically in the past 10 years. They spent a few years wallowing in college-level rape.

As someone who was mainly a Vampire fan, my problem with that line was that I found it increasingly difficult to care about the things that PCs could actually affect. When the metaplot of the sourcebooks seem preoccupied with awakening Antediluvians, digging up ancient artifacts, and other global-scale plot devices operating at superhero level, it was hard to care about seizing control of the red light district in Greensboro, NC.

And when the nWoD came out, of course it was "bland" because it wasn't marketed to people who read sourcebooks instead of playing games.

Traveller
Jan 6, 2012

WHIM AND FOPPERY



Thread moves fast!

Almogavers

Stabbing dudes in the dong since 1300 REPRESENT


AW poo poo

Alright, let's get down to combat. The rules assume the use of miniatures and terrain to represent combat situations, but it doesn't push them as hard as, say, WFRP 1E. There are a couple of detailed explanations on what "combat time" (initiative) and combat round are, and it reads as if the game assumes players aren't just unfamiliar with RPGs, but the entire idea of turn-based gaming. So we're told that, for instance, while some actions like "I grab the book and start reading it" happen as fast as declaring them, during combat everything goes slow-motion, as it takes minutes for players to declare things their characters do in a few seconds. I mean, yeah, it's right, but I don't think I've ever seen RPG combat described like that.

Anyway, actions! They are divided in long (lasting over 2 seconds, an elaborate movement or sequence of movements), short (1-2 seconds, a simple movement) or complementary (barely take time, done at the same time as other actions).

    Long
  • Acrobatics
  • Load a Crossbow
  • Switch Weapon
  • Run (move up to 5 times the miniature's height)
    Short
  • Attack with Hand Weapon
  • Nock an Arrow
  • Attack Barehanded
  • Long Movement (up to the miniature's height)
  • Fire a Bow
  • Jump
    Complementary
  • Short Movement (up to half the miniature's height)
  • Fire a Crossbow
  • Dodge
  • Parry with Weapon
  • Block with Hands


Oh no you don't, you literal neckbeard

During a combat round, a character may perform 1 long action and 1 complementary action, 2 short actions and 1 complementary action, or 1 short action and 2 complementary actions. Actions are declared in reverse Agility order, so that faster characters can see slower actions coming. Players only have one or two seconds to think before declaring, because there's so little time to think during combat: the GM should have the actions of slower NPC considered beforehand so that PCs have something to react to. Apparently, the weapon used, the character's Agility and the difficulty of getting an action done faster modify the action's initiative rank.

After actions are declared, they take place. Short actions go first, then long actions; complementary actions go when they're needed (parries happen when the character is attacked) or when the character wishes (short movement, for instance) Within short and long actions, they're ordered by the character's Agility and their modifiers for armor and weight. If two actions are simultaneous but one is a ranged attack and the other a melee attack, the latter goes first. Since, as we will see later, an action may be hastened or not, in order to prevent conflict between GM and players the game suggests that the GM declares all the NPCs' actions first and let the PCs act according to them. Of course, a character cannot be touched by a weapon if they're outside its range, and interestingly if two weapons clash they roll damage, and if one rolls twice as much as the other the loser is sent flying away.


"My arm is hosed? Well, the axe it is wielding will make you just as hosed."

So, combat rolls! They're opposed rolls using the rules we saw earlier with the Universal Table.
  • If attacker and defender attack at the same time, both roll on the table: if one gets a better success type, both successes are reduced until only the better success remains (so if A gets a Special Success and B gets a Simple Success, A hits with a Simple Success). If they both get the same success, the weapons clash.
  • If one attacks and the other parries/blocks (the most common case) then the defender wins if they get the same degree of success or better; if the attacker gets the higher degree of success, then both rolls are reduced until the loser fails, just like the first case. The same attack cannot be parried twice. Shield blocks are easier to make (-3 difficulty), but the shield can take some damage. Successful weapon parries make the weapons clash.
  • If one attacks and the other dodges, the rules are the same as the previous case except that there's no weapon clash or shield damage to consider.
  • If one attacks and the other moves, the attack is an unilateral action made more difficult by the type of movement being made by the target: Very Hard if they're running, jumping or performing acrobatics, Hard if they do anything else.
  • If (any other case), it's the GM's call.

Damage is calculating by referencing the weapon's base damage (each weapon has a base damage score for each of the three degrees of success) then adding the Strength modifier. As an optional rule, an additional difficulty modifier equivalent to (attacker's initiative mod - defender's initiative mod) can be applied to attacks. Actions can be hastened by adding a +3 difficulty modifier to reduce the initiative mod in -1, or delayed in +1 to get a -3 difficulty modifier, but no action can go earlier than initiative mod 0. A character can also increase the damage they deal on a successful blow by adding +3 to the difficulty per +1d6 they want to add.

Wounds are classified as Light, Normal, Severe and Grave. Damage up to Damage Capacity A is light, up to Damage Capacity B is normal, up to Damage Capacity C is Severe and anything worse than that is Grave. Once damage is dealt, the specific wound is located on the character's body depending on the attack's location: each weapon can deal one or more of high, medium or low blows that can affect different parts of the body, and some weapons can deal general attacks with chances to damage any part of the body. Armor reduces the damage, and if the wound is Severe or worse a d20 is rolled on one of the three damage tables (Slashing, Bashing or Piercing) to know the exact organ, muscle or bone that took the hit. I know this sounds like Historical Medieval Phoenix Command, but it's easier than it reads, honest! Damage can also come from falls, drowning, poison or malnutrition.

Damage effects! First, damage reduces a character's Blood Points. For every five Blood Points lost, the character's actions and rolls are further and further penalized. The same table is used to see just how bad a disease or poison harms a character. A Light Wound makes the character lose 1d6 Blood Points, a Normal Wound takes 5+1d6 Blood Points (half rounded down for Bashing weapons), a Severe Wound takes 10+1d6 Blood Points (again, half rounded down for Bashing weapons) and causes bleeding (internal for Bashing), while a Grave Wound takes 15+2d6 Blood Points and great bleeding. Losing 25+ Blood Points means the character is pretty much agonizing, with further chances to lose consciousness, enter a coma, and finally die. Bleeding means rolling a Constitution check for every round the character is up and running (or every five minutes if they're resting), with failure making the character lose even more Blood Points.


No, it's not a scratch, loving stop referencing that already we're not British

Then it's time for the Damage Tables! Once we know how bad the wound is and where it landed, we reference these to learn what exactly happened. Take a Severe Slashing wound to the neck? Great bleeding, death in five minutes if it isn't stopped. Take a Grave Wound to the underbelly? "Loss of virility" and gangrene And it's entirely possible to take a Piercing blow to the urethra The tables are even more painful to read than the WFRP ones, so you really want to invest in armor or not getting hit. After a couple of handy tables that summarize the combat procedure and all the Combat Techniques (including which weapons can deal which blows, minimum Strength and Dexterity, range, etc.) we are introduced to the Armor tables. Armor pieces are, aside from its weight and initiative modifier, further defined by their resistance to individual damage types, location and layer: it is possible for PCs to wear, for instance, a woolen cap and a leather or iron helm on top of it. There are common armor sets for Almogaver infantry and cavalry, as well as those of their foes, and a single generic armor score for NPCs because who the gently caress cares to track individual armor pieces for every two-bit mook.

Recovery! Bleeding is stopped by a First Aid roll. If the wound requires surgery as indicated in the damage tables, then the First Aid roll can only reduce great bleeding to regular bleeding, and the patient has to survive the 30 minutes the surgery requires (Medicine roll, can be hastened by increasing difficulty). Then, the wound must be treated, and can become infected depending on local conditions (hint: don't go dumpster diving with a sucking chest wound). Once the wound is treated, the character recovers 1 Blood Point per hour. As they heal, wounds are treated as diseases, which have a Potency that is rolled against the character's Constitution once a day (or more, in the case of poisons). If the Potency wins, the character loses one or more fatigue rank as described in the Blood Point table. If Constitution wins, the Potency is reduced in one or more points. This ends when the Potency is gone or the character is dead. This chapter ends with a description of common diseases, illnesses, and poisons.


For God! For Aragon! For not taking hits to the urethra!

Next:

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


Kurieg posted:

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.

Wait why didn't they use CyberWolves to sell werewolf instead of ecoterrorist hippies? They sound way cooler.

Could we get a review for NightLife? The covers are amazing.

Count Chocula fucked around with this message at 03:20 on Nov 14, 2013

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012


Count Chocula posted:

Wait why didn't they use CyberWolves to sell werewolf instead of ecoterrorist hippies? They sound way cooler.

Could we get a review for NightLife? The covers are amazing.

Cyber dogs didn't officially exist until 1996, they were outed in 1998, and their leader and his inner circle were killed in 1999. Glass Walker 1st Edition was published in 1995. They didn't get any mechanics or rules until after they had been almost wiped out. I'm pretty sure they were introduced as a part of the Tribe Novels, as I think Konietzko was the one who told Genereader about them, and since she outed them her Camp rose to lead the tribe.

This means that 1st Ed Glasswalkers, the book that gave us this image

had no rules for Cybertechnology at all.

On the other hand, that was probably for the best.

Kurieg fucked around with this message at 04:34 on Nov 14, 2013

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




Count Chocula posted:

Could we get a review for NightLife? The covers are amazing.
I would love to do that at some point in the future, though I don't want to stop anyone else from stepping up to the plate.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Kurieg posted:

On the other hand, that was probably for the best.


"Cyberfetish" may be one of the most unfortunate White Wolf terms.

That Old Tree
Jun 23, 2012

nah




Plague of Hats posted:

That's it for the Introduction! Tune in next time for Chapter II: CHARTS CHARTS CHARTS CHARTSCharacter Creation!

PART II: YOUR CHARACTER
The part where we vaguely talk about making characters without actually telling you how

We open with some more generic claptrap about what playing a character in an RPG is about. We also get a list of 16 pregenerated characters that you can choose to play! There're just brief sentences about each. We'll get to these guys later when they take up a whole chapter-ish-y subsection themselves. We have most of an entire page telling you how to keep track of your character with either the pregen character templates or with the DIY character sheet. It's all pretty obvious stuff once you see the sheets. Here's the art from that page:


Strider and his customary look of coy amusement.

We now come to a section common to Rolemaster and MERP, "Your Character's Role" which lists a whole bunch of example character traits. Specifically, there are Personality Traits, Motivations, and Alignments. As usual with lists of things from ICE, they're very long and fairly thorough. These aren't rules per se, excepting uses of a small selection of spells that detect and mess with them. They're mostly here as a big list of jumping off points so that you can get a handle on who your character is.

Personality Traits are listed as two opposing things and cover stuff like being an extrovert or introvert, being attentive or distracted, valorous or craven, etc. Motivations are along the lines of "Destroy: evil, Sauronic forces, culture/race, country, guild, population center, individual, etc." and "Fear of (Phobia): heights, darkness, water, etc." Near the bottom of the list of Motivations is some really compelling poo poo like "Heroism" and "Adventure." Finally, Alignment is a list of spectrums, with "Neutral" unnecessarily listed in the middle of all of them. These start out with Good/Evil, Law/Anarchy and then get more interesting with stuff like Religion/Atheism, Religion/Opposing Religion, Free Enterprise/Socialism and last of all Metaphorical/Literal. Footnotes for certain Alignments point to real world examples like the opposing sides in the War of the Roses, Christians vs. Moslems and the War of Northern Aggression.


Now we get to the important parts of an RPG: Numbers and dice rollin'! Just kidding, it's only numbers for now. We start with the usual opening summary of what we're about to read, then we get BT-1 — Stat Bonuses Table (like D&D Abilities) and BT-2 — Stat Bonuses Effect Table which just lists which skills get bonuses from which stats. After that are descriptions and abbreviations for the stats: Strength (ST), Agility (AG), Constitution (CO), Intelligence (IG), Intuition (IT) and Presence (PR). Shockingly innovative! And another indicator that MERP is meant to be a gateway into Rolemaster, since this is a stripped down selection from the 10 stats in the parent game.

Section 5.2 is "Culture and Race" where we learn just where ICE comes down on Nature vs. Nurture. We have a list of the cultures, which will have expanded rules impact on creating a character but we're not going to explain that here with all the other stuff like that because . Despite the relatively expansive approach ICE takes to its world-building, we encounter the typical fantasy bullshit where non-humans have one culture per race, whereas Men are distinguished by over a dozen of their own cultures.


It is Hobbit custom that you sniff toes when they are presented. Sniff!

We get more uselessly vague descriptions of rules that will be fully explained two chapters later when we actually get to make characters. These include racial bonuses for stats, "Background Options", which are a handful of points for a sort of backstory-building subsystem where you buy unique character abilities, unique and magic items, extra skill points, boosted stats, additional known languages and also just money. We are then advised to create a backstory for our character.

Now we come to Physical Appearance, which is broken down into three bits. This includes ComelinessGeneral Appearance, the stat that's not a stat. It's measured like other stats, but it doesn't produce a stat bonus and doesn't apply to any skills or rolls. It's just a number so you can keep track of how kawaii your Elf is. We also have Physical Appearance (a subsection of Physical Appearance) which tells us we should decide our character's height, weight, age, coloration, etc. Don't worry, there is an appendix later in the book with guidelines on who is swarthy and who is fair. Then we have Demeanor which is your "general attitude" because we didn't already have a section on Personality Traits and this clearly belongs in the section where you talk about the physical dimensions of your character.

After that we come to some short descriptions of each of the professions (classes). They are presented with helpful little parentheticals that mostly just line up to D&D analogues. We have:

• Warrior (Fighter )

• Scout (Thief )

• Ranger (Tracker )

• Bard (Jack-of-all-trades )

• Mage (Magician )

• and Animist (Cleric )

Then we have a section on skills, which includes a barely usable conversion chart for LOR characters, and BT-4 — Skill Rank Bonus Table that I will not get into here because, like most interesting things, that can wait for the actual character building chapter. ICE just really likes reprinting its tables! We once again describe the types of maneuvers: Moving Maneuvers (MM), Static Maneuvers (SM), attack maneuvers using Offensive Bonus (OB). We also have what I erroneously called "Special Maneuvers" in the last post, but they are actually "Special Purpose" skills (SP) because you don't actually use them like other skills.

These abbreviations are pretty much never important.

Skills are broken down into skill categories, which are used to restrict how your character develops based on his classprofession. Again, this will be explained better when we get to the actual character creation chapter.

Let's go ahead and get the skill list out of the way:

Movement & Maneuvering Skills
No Armor, Soft Leather, Rigid Leather, Chain and Plate
These are all pretty self-explanatory. You use these skills when you perform Moving Maneuvers. Your skill bonus is subject to a cap based on what armor you're wearing.

Weapon Skills
1-Handed Edged, 1-Handed Concussion, 2-Handed, Pole-arms, Thrown and Missile
Evocative fantasy game naming conventions are go. Again, mostly self-explanatory. The weapons you use are categorized into these six skills. "Pole-arm" means "spear and long-ax", because quarterstaves fall under 2-Handed, while "Missile" means "bows" because you shoot firebolts with a different skill.

General Skills
Climb, Ride, Swim and Track
Climb, Ride and Swim could easily have been subsumed by Movement & Maneuvering, and Track could've gone in Miscellaneous with Perception. This skill category exists to give Rangers another leg up on Warriors, because Aragorn is just dreamy.

Subterfuge Skills
Ambush, Stalk/Hide, Pick Lock and Disarm Traps
Since we don't have thieves even though this is clearly the thief skill category, this one goes to the Scout.

Magical Skills
Read Rune, Use Item and Directed Spells
Cast spells from scrolls; use magic item; and hit-a-dude with magic blasts.

Miscellaneous Skills
Perception, Body Development, Spell Lists and Languages
Body Development = Hit Points. Yes, it's a skill in ICE's games. Even though this edition of MERP was published in 1993, it's still very much a product of the 80's, because each rank of Body Development nets you 1d10 hit points. ICE wouldn't get away from this stupidity until 1995 with Rolemaster Standard Edition. This is also really the only place where spells and languages are talked about as skills, because apart from using up your skill points to learn them they do not behave anything like the other skills.

Secondary Skills
This is the catchall garbage bin where you dump skill points you don't want to spend on useful adventuring +numbers. We get a list (in chart form!) of a bunch of specific examples, like Acrobatics, Caving, Gambling and Sky-Watching. Then there's a set of Secondary Skill Groups which provide a loose framework for you to make your own secondary skills; this describes what stat bonus applies to the group's skills, and what core skill categories you can raid for the skill points you want to dump into your underwater basket-weaving. The Secondary Skill Groups are: Artistic, Athletic, Craft, Influence and Lore.


Elrond, that's no way to treat an ancient scroll. You dick.

"5.5 • Experience Level" is a paragraph that boils down to "see two pages from now." The following sections on spells and the learning thereof are equally pointless . We then get to "5.7 • Miscellaneous Factors" which describes Resistance Rolls (saving throws), Defense Bonus (DB), Equipment & Money which out of nowhere breaks out some actual rules for shields, helmets, and greaves; and then a paragraph about Encumbrance Penalty with associated chaaaaaaart BT-5 — Weight Penalty Table.

Oh, hey, look, it's our old friend from 10 pages ago, Stat Bonuses Table!

Once more, all this poo poo will be explained better in another chapter, with all the same charts and lists. Yes, even the two pages of Personality Traits. I mean, it's fine to have a summary and all, but this stuff goes on and on and on for 20 pages.

Chart Count: 7
List Count: 7
Duplicated Charts or Lists: 1 (oh, just you wait)

Wow, that was a really boring section. I hope the next one is more entertaining. Stick around for Chapter III—Book Part II: Subsection 6.0 • +13xp for 'E' critical hits vs. babies and invalids!

That Old Tree fucked around with this message at 07:49 on Nov 14, 2013

citybeatnik
Mar 1, 2013

You Are All
WEIRDOS





Kai Tave posted:

I'll try and refrain from turning this into a White Wolf chat derail, but White Wolf has a long history of having trouble maintaining consistency (and quality) within its game lines. Freelancers and other writers seem to just do whatever the hell they feel like half the time with minimal oversight and by the time it comes to the line manager's attention it's too late to send it back for serious revisions, just a quick edit or two and it's off to print.
I actually count the ability to travel back in time to punch MechaHitler on the moon to be a very strong argument in favor for the Sons of Ether.

Specifically, the Etherites' outlandish way of acting is described as a calculated attempt by some to overcome the very Apathy mentioned - where the "traditional" method of rebelling in the World of Darkness meant going punk and nihilistic, the Etherites rebelled by wearing a fez and rubbing banks with their coincidental death rays. That part always stuck with me, the notion that they had identified one of the problems with the metagame itself and were trying to overcome it.

Cyphoderus
Apr 21, 2010

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


Transient People posted:

Out of curiosity Cyphoderus, does Stealth in Double Cross fade away when you move, or only when you take more active actions like attacking? Sneaking around would be quite difficult if it required you to reapply it turn after turn, since it would mean you'd be visible for a period of time after all.

It fades away "when you take any action at all", which means anything, from moving to using instantaneous reaction powers. Stealth in DX is very much defensive, it's meant for hiding away and staying there.

There are things that change this. Angel Halo, for instance, has a couple of powers that can only be used when the user has Stealth on. So an Angel Halo specialising in this form of tactic can enter Stealth in their minor action, through a power that cloaks them in a refracting sheen, and attack in their major for increased damage with the power that lets them (literally) curve bullets. This is, however, the only example off the top of my head now. There's not a lot you can do with Stealth, unfortunately.

Cyphoderus
Apr 21, 2010

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




Syndrome Dossier, Part C

This time we'll check out two Syndromes with accessories. They're the most notable "gimmick" Syndromes in the game, but the powers system is so tight that they don't feel like gimmicks and require no extra rules just for themselves, except for a few exclusive entries in the item descriptions. Black Dog has mechanical arms, Bram Stoker has bloody little minions. Onward to them!

Black Dog

You know how The Matrix teaches us human beings are just walking batteries? This Syndrome taps the power of the body's internal electrical currents. It's named after the black dog of British legend who "always appeared with lightning" – I'm not familiar with this, but British legend does have its fair share of black dogs.

Predictably, you can shoot lightnining. And channel lightning. Thundershock, thunder wave, thunder bolt, everything is at your fingertips. Imbue your weapons with lightning, deal recurrent damage with residual electricity. You can also pump up your own internal electricity to become more powerful for short bursts of time – a Pure-Breed Black Dog can surpass their human limits and perform amazing feats, beforing fainting from the effort.

You can also play with electromagnetic fields. You can repulse attacks and enemies away from you and stop opponents in their tracks. More interestingly, you can manipulate metallic objects from afar (yes, just like that one dude from the comics). You can remotely manipulate your weapon and be the laziest swordsman, and you can use nearby metallic objects as impromptu shields to protect your allies.

Black Dog Overeds can use their electricity to attune their bodies to electronics. This means they get to do cybernetics! One interesting power lets you participate in a scene through surveillance equipment. You can enhance your physique or install a cyber-arm or cyber-leg. You can install weapons inside your own body ("I am never disarmed," you say dramatically, as you draw a claymore from between your shoulder-blades). You can install programs into yourself to become better at battle. I know kung-fu, indeed.

Hard-wired is a power that basically turns you into a cyborg with a number of enhancements. These include the classic arm-blade and cannon, dermal armour plates, and combat AI, Terminator-style. A Black Dog on high Encroachment can not only produce some mighty lightning, they can also active a self-destruction mechanism inside themselves for massive damage.

For Simple Powers, we've got a few options here. We can jam radios and make anything short-circuit on the spot and force security systems to go haywire. The lights have gone out and you really need to make some juice in the blender? No worries, your ever-electrical body can power that. You can become a walking relay station, receiving and transmiting both wireless and wired signals (never miss the soap opera again, just touch the right kind of wires and it's like the thing's going on in your head). You can also hide small objects inside your cybernetic body, and no one will ever find it if you don't want them to.

Bram Stoker

Blood! It's great. Blood has ritualistic and symbolic meanings for every single culture on Earth. Its scientific meaning, in medicine and biology and biochemistry is every bit as deep. Blood is life, and blood is alive. In the case of a Bram Stoker, especially so.
The Syndrome is named after the author of Dracula.

Many Bram Stoker powers cost HP from the user, to represent the drawing of blood.

The Bram Stoker Overed can shoot blood as bullets and blades, coat their own bullets and blades with it for greater damage, protect themselves with shields, and all that jazz. They can also use blood from the inside, to slow down or accelerate their own methabolism. There's even a power that stops the Overed's heart for a moment ("no matter what the attack is, it will have no effect on a corpse").

Most interestingly, though, a Bram Stoker can control blood that has left their bodies and turn it into half-sentient marionettes of red gross material. These are called Servants. The "vanilla" Servant isn't too great. It can't do much and kind of sucks. With additional powers, however, a Bram Stoker can create more servants, make them last longer, use them in diversions for their own attacks... more interesting uses include making a Servant resemble another person, using a Servant as a proxy in a scene, and fusing with oneself with a Servant.

There are Servant-exclusive powers. They can only be used by Servants, though they count toward the character's powers. The more interesting ones are making servants fly, making them ricochet around the battlefield to hit multiple enemies, and making them self-destruct.

The Bram Stoker's high ER powers are better versions of their regular tricks with blood, but there's one that revives the Overed from incapacitation with no penalty – except that it can only be used once per Scenario. Pure-Breed Bram Stokers can reduce the HP cost of other powers and make an attack that ages the target by instantly cutting their telomeres in half

For Simple Powers, you can perform CSI blood sample analyses with your fingertips. You can track targets by smelling their blood. You can keep yourself healthy and with a youthful appearance for decades. You can make blood sculptures and put them in your living room. Remember that Calvin & Harold Hobbes strip where he creates a clone and tells him to do homework while he goes outside to play? Well, the Bram Stoker has a Simple Power for that. Create a Servant to do chores while you go and save the world or do whatever. Feeling down? Ego is a bit hurt? You can create a bunch of Servants at once whose only task is to admire and compliment you and follow you around.

Next time: ! Chimera and Exile!

Cyphoderus fucked around with this message at 23:53 on Nov 14, 2013

Traveller
Jan 6, 2012

WHIM AND FOPPERY



Almogavers

Suddenly, magic


sup guys

So far Almogavers has been a detailed, purely historical game, without any more fantasy than "hey, let's play badass Catalan warriors in the rear end end of nowhere kicking rear end and taking names." Well, so much for that! There's a Magic and Alchemy chapter, and we're about to see some serious poo poo. Magic in this game is the province of initiates brought into the mysteries by masters, and as such this chapter is GM's eyes only: characters need Magic at Initiate level at the very least to know some (and even then not all!) of the information present here.

But first, cosmology! In the beginning, the Solar System was but a cloud of dust. The only energy present during that time was cosmic energy. Through millions of years, the Sun and the planets are formed. With the creation of Earth, a new type of energy is born: elemental energy, less powerful than cosmic energy but with greater influence over the planet. Contact between these two energies and matter brought about the existence of spirits, beings of energy. Most of these spirits associated themselves with the forms developed by organic matter (living beings), while others associated with inorganic matter. As living beings evolved, they generated yet another type of energy, vital energy - the least powerful of the three energies, but the one with the most influence over life.

In the first millions of years of Earth's existence, only these three types of energy existed. Spirits were formed by vital or elemental energy, but there were no spiritual beings of cosmic energy. But then some highly evolved spirits learned to combine their own energies with cosmic power: the combination of elemental and cosmic energy brought about luminous energy, and these spirits became very powerful beings. These beings became primitive gods, almost completely unbound by matter. The spirits that combined vital and cosmic energy created dark energy, and they grew powerful as well but not as much as the gods.

The beings of light (Gods) were the most powerful in the planet, no longer bound by matter, and the only self-aware beings in the planet aside from darkness beings (who lived in the depths of the Earth and far away from them anyway) As the gods were pretty much alone, they decided to create other spiritual beings from their essence, thus making pantheons of gods and celestial choirs - which turned out for the worse as pantheons were terrible families and choirs devolved into open civil war (ref: Paradise Lost). The second solution was inducing self-awareness in the most evolved animal lifeforms. This is where Man shows up. By the time Man appeared, though, there were few gods left and mankind was breeding like rabbits comparatively. Thus, the gods developed a system to make men channel elemental and cosmic power to them, namely worship and its rituals. The remaining gods thus forestalled their own disappearance, but they later began to fight over the control of Man, and so the first wars began.

As a result of internal conflict in the celestial choirs of the One God, a group of beings were cast out from His realm and thrown into the depths of the Earth along with the darkness beings. Furthermore, they were blocked from feeding on elemental energy as part of the expulsion. The leader of this group, however, learned how to feed from vital energy (perhaps taught by the darkness beings). And that would be the end of it, except that these guys also know how to use Man to channel vital energy to them through bloody ritual sacrifice. These beings become demons, with their leader being none other than Ol' Nick himself: Satan. So the conflict between the gods and the demons began, ones profiting from Man, the others feeding upon him. And then demons figured out pacts with the devil and the sale of souls...


Shhh!

A description of the types of energy follows.

Cosmic energy is the energy that comes from space, the stars, planets and such. It is the most powerful type of energy: in a 1-10 scale, it is a 10 in space and an 8 in Earth. It is raw, alien power, without feelings or thoughts. There are no beings associated to cosmic energy in Earth but there are in space: only the weakest cosmic beings can be summoned, because the great cosmic entities are so powerful and terrible that gods, demons and darkness beings will do everything they can so that they're not summoned. If somehow one of these entities were to be summoned, it would suck all the energy from the area, killing all living beings around it. It might spare the caster and even reward them if they somehow manage to hold on to their sanity (Very Hard Willpower roll). Cosmic beings are pitiless but highly intelligent, and ruled by pure logic. Magic associated with cosmic energy is obviously called cosmic magic, the most logical and disciplined form of it, and magic circles associated to it are qabbalists, alchemists, the Egyptian school and the Pythagoreans.

Elemental energy comes from earth, mountains, forests, jungles, sea, and so on. It's a 6 in the power scale. Unlike cosmic energy, it does have feelings, dominated by ideas of immensity, harmony, serenity and violence. Elemental beings are known as (duh) elementals, and those closer to matter are known as faeries, which cannot be summoned as they lack enough entity for it. However, as elemental energy is very stable, its spirits can live for a very long time, though they will never get even close to a god's power. Elemental magic is used by mages close to nature to reinforce the land and the spirits bound to it. They use elementals as allies and they respect the faeries. Druidic circles, hermits and shamans use elemental magic.

Vital energy is the closest to man: in fact, human souls are made of vital energy. It is the force of change, transformation and evolution. Only a 2 in the power scale though Magical creatures related to vital energy are dragons, minotaurs, sea wyrms and many other mythical or legendary monsters. They're physically very powerful, but cannot be summoned as they are too bound to matter for it. Vital magic is the province of mages related to blood sacrifice and the use of the human mind and body: examples are Greek mystery cults, witch covens, and the cult of Mithra.

Luminous energy is the energy that forms gods and lets them work their great wills. It's a 7 in the power scale. This is the energy of faith, great convictions, order, hierarchy and obedience. It is used in sacred rituals and it's the most powerful type of energy in Earth short of cosmic power. Its associated beings are, obviously, gods and angels. Divine magic is used by priests of pagan religions or prophets, monks and people in "contact with God". Formal master-student teaching is more common in pagan religions, while others just get their instructions directly from the Big Sky Wizard. Related magic circles are the Order of the Great Meteor, the Guardians of the Grail, wandering monks and enlightened hermits.

Darkness energy is the energy of darkness beings and the demons cast out of the One God's realm. It's a 5 in the power scale. It is the energy of silence, chaos, freedom and disobedience. It's used in demonic rituals, and while powerful it's not as powerful as divine power. Its associated beings are darkness beings (a rare sight), demons and hellspawn. The latter are particularly interested in humans, as they can use pacts and sacrifice to gain vital energy. Black magic is used by devil-worshiping Satanic sects. They are the largest magic circles, as black magic is "easier" than the other magic types. There are no corresponding cults to darkness beings, however (they might have existed in a very remote past). Examples are Satan worshipers, priests of Baal and witches and warlocks corrupted by evil.

Rules! Magic is conducted through rituals and powers. Rituals are magic working, usually taking a great deal of time to work, while powers are innate gifts of a character obtained through ritual. Rituals need a number of magic points, which are gathered through components; and spirit points, the (normally) vital energy from the mage's own spirit (Charisma). A ritual usually needs 3-5 magic points to work, as well as a minimum level of Magic knowledge. devoid of people. If a ritual requires elemental or vital magic points, cosmic magic points can be substituted by them as long as a single elemental or vital magic point is used in the ritual. If the mage doesn't have components stocked for the ritual, they must source them: depending on the type of magic involved it will take a different amount of time to obtain components for a single magic point, for instance components for an elemental magic point will take 1d6 weeks to gather in a purely natural environment, or 3d6 weeks in a city. Components can also be stocked beforehand or outright bought, but it will take an adventure to do so. They usually expire in a year, though certain rituals can start before components are obtained if they take years of casting. The ritual binds a certain number of spirit points from the mage, that can't be used again until the ritual's effect is gone and a day passes. Only one ritual may be in the works at any given time, and any interruption ruins all progress, including magic point usage. Rituals can also be modified or enhanced through magic research, and rituals from other magic types can be "translated" by a Master mage to their own type. All rituals have extra conditions to be performed, usually belonging to a relevant magic circle.


loving dipshit wizard loving sending me to pick up loving herbs in fuckistan gently caress gently caress gently caress

quote:

AUTHOR'S WARNING
ALL THE RITUALS ARE MERE PRODUCTS OF THE IMAGINATION
THEY HAVE NO REAL BASIS AT ALL
IT IS THUS LUDICROUS TO TRY PUTTING THEM INTO PRACTICE

(The Satanic panic over RPGs of the '80s is a '90s phenomenon in Spanish speaking countries - as late as the early 2000s I remember news about Spanish teenagers killing each other "trying to reenact roleplaying scenarios." Vampire: The Masquerade was particularly singled out in this regard, as evidenced by the terrible horror movie Sangre Eterna)

Cosmic magic is the most "magicky" of the magic types. You get to summon COSMIC POWAH, create magic mirrors, contact beings from outer space, create Golems (!) and even become immortal. Elemental magic lets you do all the druidy stuff like making healing herbal potions, control the weather, contact faeries, and creating the Fountain of Youth. Vital magic makes magic blood potions, summon spirits, create homunculi (special component required: fetus ), raise the dead and transform living beings. Pretty much all vital magic rituals can be used by black magicians as well. Divine magic rituals require to be in good standing with the god in addition to belonging to a relevant magic circle. Divine magicians can turn their vital essence to luminous energy, summon angels and archangels, bless stuff and straight up open portals to Paradise (!!). Black magic is all SATAN, usually requires human sacrifices, and lets magicians do poo poo like transmute their life essence to dark energy, gain demonic powers, summon demons, curse stuff and open gateways to Hell.

Powers work in a similar way to rituals, but they take much less time and there's no dealing with magic points as they're fueled by the mage's own soul. They do use up a mage's spirit points though, but that just means those points cannot be used to work other magics until the power is gone. When channeling powers, the mage must make a Willpower roll for their soul to generate enough spirit points to fuel it, which usually involves physical exhaustion. You can end up agonizing if you summon too many powers one after the other. Many powers have different magic sources, for instance Heighten Senses can come from elemental or vital rituals. Powers in general are less :holyfuck: than rituals power-wise, but they're more useful for adventuring: telekinesis, fireballs and control over creatures are examples of things you can do with powers. Yes, there is a Lust power that only works on the opposite sex.

Increasing the Magic skill is a little more involved than raising other skills, but it's enough to say that it involves a number of initiations and the casting of the more simple rituals. Now, Alchemy is and making alchemical products requires a series of Alchemy rolls depending on the exact type of thing being made. Failing an Alchemy roll means blowing the whole process and being forced to start over, with the corresponding loss of ingredients, but the main obstacle for alchemists is obtaining ingredients in the first place: they're at least Infrequent, and a proper alchemist will require ready access to them and a laboratory to work their stuff.


Power Word: Imminent Bonk To The Head

Next: Adventures!

Bitchtits McGee
Jul 1, 2011


Cyphoderus posted:

There are Bad Statuses as well.

OHSHIT


Cynical-Pop Meikyuu Kingdom Dungeon Theater

Chapter 3.uh, something: ...and the rest

In between the Ending Phase and the start of the Skill cards, they stuck all the miscellaneous rules that didn't rightly belong in any of the previous chapters, right where I could forget about them completely until a minute ago.

Bad Statuses

Yep, exact same video-game concept. Exact same terminology, even. You'll usually get these from Traps or Monster Skills. There are several Item or Skill effects which will clear them up, or most of them have conditions attached that let you remove them for "free".

    Poisoned - No prizes for guessing. Lose 1 <HP> at the end of each Round in Combat, and at the end of each Quarter of the Dungeon Phase. Remove by Resting in Camp or returning to the Kingdom.
    Distracted - Your concentration is broken, and you can't seem to fit it back together. Cannot gain <Drive> from any special effect or by Action Check dice appropriation. Remove by rolling a Total Success or Total Failure on an Action Check, or by returning to the Kingdom.
    Fat - Don't you call it "portly", "pudgy" or "stout". I won't tell you once again. Lost 1 <HP> every time you Move in Combat. Remove by not eating for one full Turn, or by returning to the Kingdom.
    Cursed - You've been turned into a toad or something via bad juju. However it's flavored, Action Roll results of 3 or less now count as Total Failures. Remove by returning to the Kingdom.
    Asleep - You're so tired, you can't seem to keep awake! Essentially, you're Unconscious, but you wake up at the end of Combat or the moment you take any damage. If an effect hits you that would put you to sleep while you're already Asleep, you lose 1D6 <HP> instead.
    Mindless - Your mind regresses to primal instinct. Works the same as the "Berserk" status from the Final Fantasy games, where you lose control of the character and just watch as they hit anything that crosses their line of vision with no discrimination between friend and foe. Remove by waiting for the sun to come up and turning back to stone returning to the Kingdom.

Relationship Scores

I covered these already, didn't I? Only then I called them "Empathy" because vocabulary. Anyway, each sub-type has a maximum value of 5. Max one of them out and you'll more than likely hit upon a Special Relationship:

    Unrequited Love - Occurs when you have 4 or more points of Love <Affection> for one Character. Whenever that Character rolls a Total Success, you gain 1 <Drive>.
    Lovers - Occurs when two Characters have 4 or more points of Love <Affection> for each other. Whenever one of the characters makes a Check, the other may spend 1 <Hope> to Interrupt with a Co-Operative Action.
    Best Friends - Occurs when two Characters have 4 or more points of Friendship <Affection> for each other. Whenever one of the characters takes damage or is hit with a Bad Status, the other can substitute themselves as the target, but only once per Cycle.
    Devotee - Occurs when you have 4 or more points of Loyalty <Affection> for one Character. Whenever that character takes damage, gain 1 point of <Hostility> for the Character who dealt it.
    Rival - Occurs when you have 4 or more total points of <Hostility> AND at least one point of Friendship <Affection> for the same Character (no requirement on their end, making it entirely possible to be Rivals with someone who doesn't even know you exist ). Once per Game, you may use any 1 non-Permanent Skill known by that Character.

Unknown Encounters

This is, I believe, as close as the game comes to officially sanctioned GM dickery. The GM may designate a number of Combat Encounters in a scenario equal to the average Level of the Court to be "Unknown Encounters". In an Unknown Encounter, the stats of any or all Monsters involved are hidden from the players; all the GM is required to give are physical descriptions. So not only are their capabilities a mystery, but the Difficulties of any Checks made against them are secret! The PCs may attempt to ferret out their secrets by making a (Wit) Check with a Difficulty of [target Monster's Level + 5] (still a secret!), or by using the Professor's {Monsterology} Job Skill. If either of these are successful, the GM must reveal that Monster's stats.

Splitting the Party

It's a thing you can do. Movement, Encounters, and Camp are all resolved separately, one group at a time. If Combat begins while the Court is split, any PCs not in the room where it's starting may roll against the Dynamic Entry Table to try and burst in. This may be done before the first Round, or at the beginning of any Round after that.

Opposing Checks

Resolve Monsters first, then PCs. In case of two opposing PCs, flip a coin or something.

Falling Damage

No measurements given for how high up you have to be, so I guess it's up to the GM. Damage is a flat 3D6 <HP>, anyway, though the falling Character can make an (Adventure) / 9 Check to halve it.

Thinking On Your Feet

Make your own poo poo up and see what the GM thinks of it. Not recommended for newbies.

Kingdom Destruction

Yeah, this is a Big One. Your Kingdom and anything in it is destroyed if any of these conditions are met:
  • The entire Court is either Dead or Unconscious (in which case they'll probably be Dead in a minute).
  • The Kingdom's <Population> becomes less than or equal to the current number of Landmakers in the Court.
  • All of the Kingdom's Territories are lost.
  • The {Royal Palace} is destroyed.
  • Any of the National Powers become 0.

Kingdom Restoration

But so long as you're alive, it's not over yet! Once a Landmaker, always a Landmaker, even if you're reduced to ruling over a one-room tenement apartment in an abandoned building. All National Powers are considered to be 1, and you cannot gain any <Citizens> until you've acquired a new Territory. Once you have, though, [2D6 + number of Landmakers in Court] <Citizens> appear to live in it, and you're back in business. (Alternately, you could go make land for some other Kingdom, but where's the fun in that?)

Special Alliances

Oh, I love this one. Special Alliances are when one or more players from one Meikyuu group sit in and play a session with the Court of another group. Why give a fancy name to something like that, you may ask? The answer, of course, is tables: 1D6, rolled during the Prologue, against the Alliance Table corresponding to your Character's Class, to determine what it is they're doing way over in this other Kingdom adventuring with a bunch of strange Landmakers. Results usually imply a sort of mini-sub-quest to be folded into the larger Scenario - a Knight searching for a holy relic, an Oracle lost in a crisis of faith, a Servant on a mission to destroy a cursed object. After the game, if everybody's agreeable to the idea, both Kingdoms may mark the other down as Allied.

Trade and Exchange

I thought this had been covered back in the Kingdom Phase, but apparently it's an optional rule. During the Treasury Meeting of either the Kingdom Phase or the Ending Phase, you may initiate Trade with any other Kingdom on your Known World map with whom you have Diplomatic Relations of Neutral, Friendly, or Allied:
  • Purchase Materials - If the Kingdom has a designated Staple, spend 1 MG to purchase 1/3/5 of that Material depending on your level of Relations.
  • Sell Materials - Roll on the Market Table to determine what they need, then sell any of that Material you have on hand, 2/3/4 for 1 MG depending on your level of Relations.
  • Purchase Rare Item - Choose a Rare Item at random. You may purchase 1 of that Rare Item for [Cost + 1] MG/[Cost * 2] MG/[Cost * 3] MG, depending on the same thing it always depends on.
  • Sell Rare Item - Have a member of the Court make a (Wit) / 9 Check. If successful, you may sell 1 Rare Item to the Kingdom for [Cost + 1] MG/[Cost] MG/[Cost ÷ 2] MG, depending.
  • Use a Facility - If the Allied Kingdom is fully fleshed out - say, because of a Special Alliance - you may use one Facility they own with a Plan-type Action.
  • Exchange Program - Lose one Prodigy, gain another with a randomly generated Job.

Passing Time

Tempus somethingorother, I forget the words but the basic idea is that time happens. Once during the Setup Phase (oh hey, something does reference it!), the players may elect to advance the game calendar by one year and roll against the Time Passage Table for a quick assessment of their fortunes over that time. Results are evenly split between good and bad.

Ghosts

A player whose Character dies during the game may, instead of being revived (or if they weren't in time, I guess), choose to become a Ghost and continue to assist the Court from beyond the grave. A Ghost Character may reduce either their <Affection> for another Character or another Character's <Affection> for them by 1D6 to make one Plan, Support, Assist or Interrupt Action; also, for the rest of the Cycle after doing this, any Permanent Skills they possess(ed) become active again. The drawback to this is that if the Ghost Character loses all their <Affection>, or if the Court loses all their <Affection> for the Ghost, there's nothing left to tie them to this world and they vanish for good.

Transporting Items

As a Plan Action during the Dungeon Phase, you can send some of your <Staff> back to the Kingdom with Items or Materials that you've found. Treat each citizen as if they had one Item Slot, assign the Items to be transported accordingly, and reduce your <Staff> by however many it ends up taking. Then, make a (Military) / 9 Check. If successful, increase the <Population> by the number of <Staff> dispatched, and mark the Items down on the Kingdom Sheet. If it fails, some of them fall victim to Traps or wandering Monsters en route; decrease the number of <Staff> by [Difficulty - Result] before increasing the <Population> (apparently, the ones who survive pick up the slack, because no mention is made of losing Items this way). On a Total Failure, the transport is a total failure, with all <Staff> and Items lost.

Government Policies

Hey, wait a second, this isn't anywhere in my copy of the Kingdom Book. Huh. I thought the PDF had been made using the same version, but I guess they got a reprint or something. Well, whatever. During the Round-Table of the Kingdom Phase, the Royalty or Vizier can make an Aid Action to enact one of two Policies to increase either the <Treasury> or the <Population>. When they do so, the maximum <Staff> for all members of the Court becomes [(Charisma) + Level] for the rest of the game. Beats me why. Before the Earnings Report of the next Ending Phase after declaring a Policy, make a Check with a Difficulty equal to [Kingdom Level + 5], using either (Quality of Life) for <Treasury> or (Public Order) for <Population>. If successful, increase the <Treasury> by [Kingdom Level] MG or the <Population> by [current Population ÷ 10].

Okay, that's that for the optional/miscellaneous rules. Next: the card data, I mean it this time.

PleasingFungus
Oct 10, 2012

in my pope game,


Cyphoderus posted:

Remember that Calvin & Harold strip where he creates a clone and tells him to do homework while he goes outside to play?

Today I learned that in Brazil, "Calvin and Hobbes" was localized to "Calvin e Haroldo".

Huh.

Bitchtits McGee posted:

Kingdom Destruction

Yeah, this is a Big One. Your Kingdom and anything in it is destroyed if any of these conditions are met:
  • The entire Court is either Dead or Unconscious (in which case they'll probably be Dead in a minute).

Does this mean that someone has to be at watch at all hours of night, or else the kingdom will be destroyed when everyone goes to bed?

Traveller
Jan 6, 2012

WHIM AND FOPPERY



PleasingFungus posted:

Does this mean that someone has to be at watch at all hours of night, or else the kingdom will be destroyed when everyone goes to bed?

Don't Rest Your Head: Dungeon Hazard.

Synthbuttrange
May 6, 2007



Cyphoderus posted:

You can also hide small objects inside your cybernetic body, and no one will ever find it if you don't want them to.

Hey, that's not a superpower. That's just a regular person power.

The extra stuff from being a pure Black Dog doesnt seem that great though.

LornMarkus
Nov 8, 2011



SynthOrange posted:

Hey, that's not a superpower. That's just a regular person power.

The extra stuff from being a pure Black Dog doesnt seem that great though.

Depends on what "surpassing human limits and performing amazing feats" means mechanically, really.

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Ratoslov
Feb 15, 2012

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



Bitchtits McGee posted:

Fat - Don't you call it "portly", "pudgy" or "stout". I won't tell you once again. Lost 1 <HP> every time you Move in Combat. Remove by not eating for one full Turn, or by returning to the Kingdom.

That is so cute.

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