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unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

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

pospysyl posted:

Actually, the Golden Age Flash Jay Garrick couldn't vibrate to run through walls. His powers were more magical than later iterations (I believe he got his powers from Mercury's helmet?). Barry Allen, who got his powers from lightning and chemicals, invented the vibration technique. :flashfact:

But yeah, the mesmerism and super science things are silly, but I guess figures like Doctor Occult would be out of place in a Hitler Punching team. And the Human Torch was a robot!

Also, the Haunted Tank is the best, just like all the Silver Age WWII comics. I hope the book has hints to support those stories, rather than just the comics published during the thirties and forties.

Nah, Jay Garrick got his powers from being exposed to heavy water vapors, so good old radiation like mother used to make. And yeah, a lot of the best 'golden age continuity' stories weren't published until the seventies or early eighties, so ignoring those to focus specifically on the older comics seems odd.

As a side note, Chris Mcglothlin, who wrote Golden Age, was one of the main Confederate apologist types in the Deadlands writer's stable back in the day. (He wrote the "Southern Sentinel" stuff in the back east books, among other things.) So, uh. Take that and the Haunted Tank image how you like.

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unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

There's only one thing in the mountains that leaves a track like this. The creature of legend that roams the Timberline. My people named him Sasquatch. You call him... Bigfoot.
Honestly, I think the WOT rules are actually using a variant of the RCR Star Wars rules, weirdly. Having a middle save progression, class-based defense bonus not compatible with armor, and an an armor compatibility feature for the fighter class all seem to be from there originally. Heck, even the classes line up too, mostly: Noble=Noble, Wanderer=Scoundrel, Armsman=Soldier, Woodsman=Scout, Initiate=Jedi Consular, Wilder=Force Adept. Al'gi'whatever and tech specialist is about the only mismatch.

RCR is sort of the sad middle child of the Star Wars D20 games and it really shows in adapting it to a new setting.

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

There's only one thing in the mountains that leaves a track like this. The creature of legend that roams the Timberline. My people named him Sasquatch. You call him... Bigfoot.
Wait, wait, wait. So the game about a show where the main character almost never uses a weapon except against CGI monsters and just throws mooks around bare-handed (Mooks who mostly wear armor, it should be noted), throwing armor-wearing mooks around bare-handed is basically impossible?

...I am just gonna go read the "Diana, Warrior Princess" RPG, as that's almost certainly a better Herc and Xena game than the Herc and Xena game, even if it is about Princess Di, her spunky sidekick Fergie, and features Teddy Roosevelt as an on-again/off-again romantic relationship.

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

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

Evil Mastermind posted:

The setting is great (and one of my all-time faves) but the system is crunchy as gently caress and the metaplot was actually worse than Deadland's.

TORG is the epitome of 90's RPG design and I'm really tempted to review the line. I feel like I could do a loving dissertation on everything that was wrong with the way the metaplot was handled and why War's End was one of the worst supplements ever written.

The dumbest/saddest part about the TORG metaplot was that they tried to do it 'right', with semi-regular polls and questionnaires with adventures and what stuff people played and how it was resolved. From what I remember, though, they kept the numbers that could 'affect' whether an event was true or not fairly small and the window for responding was fairly short, so if enough groups liked a dumb plot twist, it became canon.

You can probably see how this went badly.


Though for a War's end dissertation there's always this: http://www.sdc.org/~ksjim/wars-end.html

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

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

Flavivirus posted:

Potentially, but I think it was just as much a response to the lovecraftian existential horror genre, if not more. It's an occult universe where instead of humankind being manipulated by the unknowable whims of eldritch horrors, every wierd thing that happens has a profoundly human reason.

This, pretty much explicitly, IIRC. Especially since Tynes had just come off writing Delta Green when he was working on The New Inquisition, which became UA.

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

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

Halloween Jack posted:

Are TORG's rules for creating spells and such the same as the Masterbook rules for creating your own "SFX?" Because drat that poo poo is a pain.


No, no. They're not that bad.


They are WORSE.

(The Masterbook version is really vastly streamlined, especially from the 'advanced' version in the big TORG spellbook supplement.)

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

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

Hipster Occultist posted:

How does Torg even work? I mean, if I have spend one PP for every 15 minutes of adventuring to fire my laser rifle at a dinosaur man or move in my power armor I just don't see how that works in play. Is the adventure day limited to a couple hours?

Reality Bubbles are only required -if- you go into a pure zone, where one reality totally dominates and you literally can't create a contradiction. Only a few of the published adventures have things going on in pure zones. (And often got confused and treated them like dominant zones when they did.) In dominant zones, where one reality is in charge but contradictions are possible, you're fine without a bubble until you roll a one, assuming your assault rifle works under your personal reality. Then you disconnect and have to obey the local rules until you reconnect. There are two exceptions to this: If you're using a tool that's a contradiction for both your personal reality -and- for the local reality, like you're borrowing a plasma rifle from your cyberpapal templar buddy and you're from Core Earth, while fighting lizard men in Lizard-land, you disconnect and suddenly have a fancy club on a roll of 1-4 instead.

There's also Long Range Disconnection, which is what you risk when you're firing a sticky bomb launcher or throwing a grenade. Hell if I understand how that one actually works, though, it's not something that ever came up precisely -because- it was such a hassle.

unseenlibrarian fucked around with this message at 08:32 on Apr 19, 2013

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

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

Lemon Curdistan posted:


This charming military dictatorship is named for Karrn, a warlord of the far antiquity who was chiefly responsible for fighting the natives and allowing humanity a place to thrive on Khorvaire. If it hadn’t been for Karrnath, Khorvaire would still mostly be ruled by hobgoblins (this will make more sense in a bit).

Located to the North-East of Khorvaire, Karrnath is a frigid land of dour people – think Tsarist Russia and you’re not far off. During the opening years of the War, Karrnath’s forces took particularly severe losses – this lead to Karrnath using the necromantic arts to raise their dead as zombies and skeletons.

Past the initial distaste, this proved to be a surprisingly good strategy for Karrnath. Undead don’t tire or require sustenance, and if they’re knocked down you just raise them again, as long as the damage isn’t too extensive. Nowadays, the Karrnathi have no problems with necromancy, and Karrnath still maintains its borders with undead troops.

Karrnath is ruled by King Kaius III, the grandson of Kaius I, who was the third of Jarot’s brats.

Except not! In a surprise twist, Kaius I is actually a vampire, and keeps faking his death every 50 years or so and handing the throne down to his “son.” In another surprise twist, Kaius is the only one of the five rulers who actually wants peace. The other four are all power-hungry dickbags, but Kaius just wants the Last War to go away forever and never come back.

NB: one of the things Eberron does is that it attempts to subvert certain elements of D&D, like alignments and gods. The thing with Kaius being a vampire who wants peace and Aurala being a Good character who wants war is part of that.


The best part of this whole bit is that Kaius III -was- actually in charge for a bit. But his grandfather saw things were going badly and they looked enough alike that he could replace him. And so Kaius III is now bunged up in a tower somewhere, under guard, and forced to wear a mask at all times to hide the fact that he looks just like the king.

So yeah. The whole thing is a set up so you can go all Man in the Iron Mask and pull a swashbuckling rescue.

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

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

Ettin posted:



Mortal Remains: Undefined Immersion Object

One of the big complaints I've heard about my reviews on rpg.net (behind "You can't make fun of game designers YOU WILL REGRET THIS!" and "that adventure where the PCs are abducted by rape furries doesn't count because if you interpret the rules like this it means the PCs are immune to their rape aura. See, that makes it okay!") is that they are hyperbolic, and all those posts where I directly quote the book aren't accurate or something.



Mostly what I remember from the discussion on the rape-furry stuff is people telling me apparently completely straight faced that it wouldn't work on NPCs or PCs because obviously they'd go after the rape furries while wearing full NBC suits, blinded, and deafened with white noise generators. How'd they'd be expected to talk to each other, not shoot each other or civilians instead of the monsters, or even interact with the adventure at all...

...Wait, maybe that was the plan.

I vote Unveiled Threats highlight reel and then Ancient Enemies, just for it being the other major book of "What no, you can't do that, only our NPCs can."

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

There's only one thing in the mountains that leaves a track like this. The creature of legend that roams the Timberline. My people named him Sasquatch. You call him... Bigfoot.
You can kind of tell Shane Hensley worked for West End at one point; the whole "Spread the story of your success to give hope back to the people" thing showed up in Deadlands too, (though with somewhat less cumbersome mechanics, all told, and not as dire a consequence for blowing it.)

(You can also tell he worked for them because he basically ripped ideas from the book he wrote for Bloodshadows, filed off the serial numbers, and ported them into Deadlands, but.)

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

There's only one thing in the mountains that leaves a track like this. The creature of legend that roams the Timberline. My people named him Sasquatch. You call him... Bigfoot.
For everyone following the Monsters and Other Childish things reviews, and thinking of picking it up for yourself, well: Now is the time. http://www.arcdream.com/zencart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=6&products_id=45

First 100 people can buy the entire gameline for 50 bucks.

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

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

Arashiofordo3 posted:

I love all of the things that Bigger Bads brings to the table, but this right here is my favourite. I can't wait to introduce this to my players. They will LOVE it.

The variant on this in Feng Shui is a particular favorite: +1 damage with shotguns if you do the "Kachunk" sound effect aloud and mime working a pump action. Yes, this even works on shotguns without actual pump actions.

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

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

Alien Rope Burn posted:

My vote is for Day After Ragnarok. Deadlands Noir has Stone on the cover, so it loses by default. I like the idea but... I'm gonna judge that one by the cover. Stone! Go away! Nobody likes you! (Well except Pinnacle.)



If it helps, he's nearly completely absent from the book except for a single plot seed "Someone bought Stone's guns at auction and they and the courier who was delivering them went missing oh no!"

He is not actually involved in the disappearance at all, weirdly enough.

He's not even mentioned in the Companion as far as I can tell.

But I also vote for After Ragnarok because I don't have it.

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

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

Mors Rattus posted:


The Chimera transforms the outer heartbeast into a new creature combining the features of more than one mundane beast. These hybrids of legend include the griffon, hippogriff and unicorn, though the chimera need not be limited to such famous templates. Any combination of noble beasts is allowed, provided the result remains noble and not silly. (A hawk and a turtle are both noble, but their hybrid would look ridiculous and so is invalid.) Naturally, the outer heartbeast comprises one of the components, and generally will be over half of the body of the chimera. It is completely impossible to include human form in the chimera - no centaurs or mermaids. Once the shape is decided, it is determined what qualities are retained from the parent animals. A chimera always ends up either a little larger than the outer heartbeast, or the size of the creature added to it, whichever is bigger. It gains a new power based on its nature; sanguine inner heartbeasts have fast reflexes, choleric have great reserves of strength, melancholic receive a lesser immunity to harm (typically, from something either rare or not especially deadly), and phlegmatic gain great intuition.


It is probably not 'noble enough' but man, my first thought on reading this bit was "Owlbear Bjornaer".

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

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

homeless poster posted:

ADVANCED DUNGEONS & DRAGONS: 2ND EDITION - The Complete Psionics Handbook
Chapter 6 - PSYCHOPORTATION SCIENCES AND DEVOTIONS OR BAMF! MOTHER FUCKER


Dimensional Door - Works just like the Wizard spell dimension door only you have a penalty to your power check the greater distance you want to travel, and using the door at all also disorients you and prevents you from acting at all for one round after using the door. This power costs way less than teleport but also maxes out at a distance of 200 yards, so it's of dubious utility.
POWER SCORE / 20: You aren't disoriented during the round immediately following transit / You're disoriented just as if you had gone through the door for one round after manifesting the door.

The psionicist in our group discovered a few 'fun'* ways to do terrible things with this power. Namely: Since you control the orientation and location of both entrance and exit there was a -lot- of making impromptu pit traps with his brain. Or orienting the 'entrance' side of the portal so ranged attacks would fly into it and come out behind the shooters and etc.

*(For values of fun that mean "complete bullshit but the guy talked a good line")

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

There's only one thing in the mountains that leaves a track like this. The creature of legend that roams the Timberline. My people named him Sasquatch. You call him... Bigfoot.
Okay, after a ridiculous delay, it's time for more...




So I know, waaaay back in my last post, I promised Chargen. I am...not going to keep that promise. Instead we are going to go into the next section instead, as it explains some things you might need to know before we do Chargen. Namely:

Esoteric Disciplines

The idea behind these is essentially, special techniques for non-combat skills. They are, by their nature, unusual and, well, esoteric. Anyone can give a speech, but someone trained at a fancy elocution school can make that speech really well, with fancy breathing tricks and speaking from the diaphragm and so on. It mentions that while these are all specific to Heluso and Milonda, they're pretty easily reskinned. They're purchased in order, in ranks from 1-5, with one or two exceptions.

So let's go down the list, shall we?

Pure Breath Techniques are used with your vigor skill; it improves your ability to heal shock damage with vigor, and ignore penalties, lets you use Vigor instead of Endurance to perform effortful tasks, and add your vigor to an athletics roll for a non-combat burst of strength.

The Divine Regimen started out as special training techniques for a not-Olympics event to honor the gods- it gave the side who developed it a great advantage until everyone else stole it. Oops. This is all about Athletics. Better lifting, jumping, resisting knockback, improving the results of athletics sets. At the top level, you ignore Fatigue or injury penalties for any body skill.

Svrana Run Special running techniques used by couriers. This is notably not a parkour thing- it's all about running faster and for longer distances without penalty.

[B}Proper Climbing [/B] The first and last ability in this both have to do with taking less damage when you fall, with the pinnacle technique basically not having a height limit at all. In between lets you climb anything with no equipment, climb incredibly fast, and instantly stand up if you're knocked down.

Truil Bodywork Weirdly, some of the best non-magical healers in the game are cannibal mammoth riding werewolf barbarians. (Okay, not all of them are werewolves- only those who practice their special werewolf magic, but you know, that's what most people think. It's very much a 'hurt them to heal' set up, letting you do shock damage to allow recovery from poison or disease, add your body score to knowledge+medicine rolls (MUSCLE MAGIC? Try MUSCLE MEDICINE), convert killing damage to shock even if the character has had no time to rest, and treat each hit location as its own thing when healing shock damage.

The School of Professional Readiness is the imperial tactical handbook, and is mostly centered around making unworthy opponent followers better; giving them clever instructions so they can keep larger sets, giving them the threat bonus for being armed even if they're naked, and treating one of their dice as a master die if you trained them.

The Tyrant's CommandAnother 'make followers better' school, but it uses Command+Intimidate instead of Knowledge+Tactics. It improves morale attacks you make on other people's followers, scare your followers into performing at higher threat, free your followers from the effects of someone else's morale attacks, or at the top end, make them completely immune to them as long as they can see you, because you're worse than anything on the other side.

The General's Visage. The first path we get that interacts with the yet-to-be-seen Company rules. It at least points you at them at the start of the writeup. It's all about inspiring your troops for high level actions instead of just at the squad level, like the last two.

Troubadour's Fortune This is all about playing to the crowd. Use your perform skill instead of graces to be suave, reduce penalties for romantic interactions, subtly warping the mood of a crowd, failing with style so people think you meant to do that all along, and escape consequences of your breaches of trust. This is basically the school for complete jerk musicians.

Relentless Pursuit All about being crazy-good at tracking, to the point where you can see through tricks to throw you off and track from even the tiniest signs.

Inner Senses All about being better at detecting magic, this was developed by the Maemeck Matriarchy, and is about sensing magic so you can counter it later- it's the first one to break the pattern and has only 3 techniques, all about giving you more info from your Eerie skill.

Political Whispers Another company-based technique: This one is all about whispering campaigns and detecting and affecting their Influence score. Find out how strong it is relative to yours, find out what they're doing with it, adding your jest to your fascinate score to affect their influence, or even lowering it for a month- which they get a roll to detect, but no roll to resist.

Respectful Clarity of Speech Diplomacy! This is less about sabotaging other companies and instead is about bolstering your own's territory, including a top end technique to permanently increase it by one.

The Jester's course The art of being funny- another 3 technique system, It lets you fail a graces (Diplomacy) check and pass it off as a joke, act like a twit in front of unworthy opponents so they underestimate you and have their threat lowered, and tell anyone a joke so funny that it can mess up their next roll, or even, if you succeed on this multiple times, literally paralyzing him with laughter so he can't do anything. (And he may start laughing again just by seeing your face.)

Path of the Moistened eye Mastery of Begging: Whining so exquisitly that if you succeed you get a marginally better result, retry a failed roll immediately, beg from people poorer than you without penalty, beg on behalf of your country, and giving a company's treasure roll a master die by bullshitting people who you owe money to to invest again. In a non-fantasy world, this would the chief skill of televangelists. [/B]

Strategic education Strategy, instead of tactics- another company scale discipline. if you lose a fight you and the other PCs can throw your army at people as a distraction so you can escape safely, go double or nothing on the losses in a fight by escalating the conflict, send waves of troops in at the killbots until they reach their preset kill limit, increase your company's might by one as long as you're personally in the fray, and offset permanent might losses by sacrificing another permanent company stat.

Financial Sophistication The last one in the section is all about using your Company's treasure rating wisely; not reducing it for actions taken during the month, using it to gather info and reward followers.

It actually segues nicely into the last part of this chapter, which is all about wealth and more in-depth discussion of how the abstract money system works. Combining it, spending it, gifting it.

Next time: The first in-depth look at a Country in Heluso and Milonda: Uldholm, bastion of democracy! Sort of.

unseenlibrarian fucked around with this message at 17:44 on Jun 14, 2013

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

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

mllaneza posted:

Here's the ORE character generator.

http://rpgs.mapache.org/reign/ore-character-generator

Go ahead and roll a few characters, some amazing backgrounds emerge from the system.

Yeah, I was skipping doing chargen right away, largely because there's a lot of stuff in later sections you'd need to know to make a character- like the esoteric disciplines, martial paths, and the sorcery schools. But that generator is the best.

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

There's only one thing in the mountains that leaves a track like this. The creature of legend that roams the Timberline. My people named him Sasquatch. You call him... Bigfoot.
Two updates in one week! One day I may keep up the relatively breakneck pace of the Rifts reviews!

(That day will be sometime in 2025.)

Yes, it's time for more:




The First Nation: Uldholm

The chapter opens with the tale of Criff the Clever, an Uldish culture hero who managed, in the course of the tales about him, to function as a member of all 15 of the Uldish guilds, thwart the Imperial invasion, make himself rich, and get laid with as much variety and as little repetition as possible. He's the sort of self-made man the modern forward-thinking Uldholm admires, since they don't have kings, nobility, or a state religion, unlike most of their (As they see it) less advanced neighbors. They're the most egalitarian nation in the world! Which is true as far as it goes, since well, on one side you've got an expansionistic empire ruled by a hereditary empress, on another you've got Dindarva, a country rules by a noble class that believes those not born noble are literally like children and should be treated as such. (More on them later.) And of course, there's the Truils, but the Truils barely have culture at all, do they. (Spoilers: They do. They are the next country writeup in the book.

Anyway, the big split in Uldholm isn't between noble and commoner, it's between Guilded and guildless. The guilded believe themselves to be a meritocracy where anyone can advance, and thus feel justified in taking advantage of non-guilded, because obviously if they weren't so lazy and applied themselves they'd be in a guild, wouldn't they? (Except for immigrants, who can't join a guild. Or folks who practice a trade without an associated guild. Or because they pissed off the wrong farmer and got blackballed by guild politics.)

Basically the Uldish have a chunk of Prosperity Gospel republican in their makeup. Which still makes them less jerky than their enemies in a lot of ways. (And bigger jerks in others, obviously. The Dindarvan noble attitude towards the less fortunate is patronizing as all hell but at least they try to care for the poor out of a sense of noblesse oblige as opposed to "You wouldn't be poor if you weren't so lazy")

The guilds have two major political schools of thought- traditionalist and and visionary. Traditionalists are big on doing things the way they've always been done, obviously, and are big fans of "Anyone can do it if they just work hard enough." Visionaries are always looking for a better and easier way to do the job, preferably by getting someone else to do it for you.

So how'd it get all early modern there? Well, it's the empire's fault. Uld back before the invasion, generations back, was a fairly traditional kingdom, with a noble class, a king ruling by divine mandate, and all the other bits. Then the Empire invaded, and brought their Blood-cutters with them. The Bloodcutters are a school of sorcerers that were concerned with the bonds of family and lineage, but their big important power was the ability to use one member of a family to strike at any other relation, no matter how distant. And when your noble class is as inbred as your typical noble class is, with everyone being more or less related to the king, well, capture one member of a noble family and his whole line is gone inside a week. They pursued a royal heir, and got one, and so the royal line was wiped out. This worked pretty well to cow the empire's other conquests, and would have worked on Uldholm too, except for a guy known as general Rolf, a common-born trooper who'd risen through the ranks. As the nobles got decimated, he found himself more and more free to wage war as he liked, and had better results. (How true this actually is open to question, but Rolf -did- exist.) The war turned to messy guerilla war affair, and eventually the empire decided Uldholm wasn't worth taking, with there being organized groups of orphans the Bloodcutters couldn't hurt. (Other things were also involved, but we'll get to that in the section on Imperials.)

In any case, the guild council already existed at that time to settle disputes, but since the soldiers were their own guild, it became a sort of defacto government, eventually adding a legislative senate, with the council as executive. Guilds have the right to trial over their own members over the civil authorities. Local governments. Who are, of course- appointed by the Guilds. And the lawyers have their own guild, but you might rather be judged by a bunch of other bakers. Maybe.

Culturally the Ulds are aggressively modern- "Classic" art, music and literature from the old Kingdom is a guilty pleasure at best. Modern Uldish music is shallow and light. Medieval Pop, and most plays are either slapstick comedies or, well, blockbusters- military special effect shows, sometimes with real wizards on stage to cast spells. Actors and playwrights aren't guilded, except for musical theater, but they're pushing to become one because a lot of them are making a lot of money, especially the ones who feature in the specialty plays for rich audiences.

See, there's an undercurrent of conspicuous consumption in Uldish culture. If you're reach, you should be -eating- rich, and dining on poo poo like sparrow's tongues, monkey livers, and fried snake from the lightless jungle. You can't just be seen going to the latest Rolf's Battle adaptation, you have to go to special plays- tragedy-drenched romances or anguish plays where everyone suffers, including the audience. The Uldish belief is that moral rightness, working hard, being clever in your dealings, and so on leads to material success. So it follows that looking rich is as important as being rich, or at least can't hurt. They also tend to dress like idiots to show off their wealth- even the very poor will have one or two fancy outfits. Uldish fashion is described in other countries as "Wear your heart on your sleeve! And try to find room for anything else that might fit."

As mentioned, the Ulds are ruled by 15 guilds:

The Cultivators: Farmers, though most of the political cultivators are only technically farmers and may have never seen a plow in their lives. The largest and most fractious section of the senate.

Merchants: The second largest guild- traders and shopkeepers. They are isolationist, because every time Uld goes and conquers new territory the guild that grows the most is the Cultivators.

Miners and gemcutters: Nearly as rich as the bankers and with more guildmembers, but ideologically opposed to the merchants, as they always need new territory to expand their mines.

Weavers and Woodcarvers: A unified block of votes and about as politically neutral as you can be and still be in an organization that calls itself a senate. (This means they're good at taking bribes and concessions before they vote.)

Masons and Builders: The tax and spend block- because public works means more work for their guild members. But they also pay the highest dues and taxes of any guild, so they're honest about it.

Butchers, Teamsters, and Tanners: Animal handling and animal products. Also expansionistic, but only against the Truils.

Bakers: The only reason they aren't the most fractious guild is because there are more Cultivators.

Bankers, Lawyers, and Mercenaries: Rich out of proportion with their numbers, and lender of private armies to other guilds.

Blacksmiths: Split into those who are proud about traditional uldish craftsmanship and those who want to steal the smithing secrets of the Dindarvans.

Soldiers: The enforcement arm of the law, and with more men under arms than the mercenaries, they are in favor of spending on defense but not on aggressive military campaigns.

Traffickers: Importers and exporters of goods. Somehow a separate guild from the merchants. Big on peace.

Physicians: Influential on health matters, but fractured on every other issue.

Enchanters, Sages, and Lifelong students.: NEEERDS. Natural allies of the soldiers, though, because the native schools of Uldish magic are very combat oriented.

Musicians and translators: Big fans of foreign adventures, either peaceful or warlike, because it gives them songs to write about and work for the translators. Not well-trusted.

Brewers, Innkeepers, and Givers of Hospitality: They have one senator and one council member, and basically get nothing done because they're too busy fighting internally.

The chapter wraps up with Uldholm at war: They rely heavily on wizards: Uld is home to both the Flamedancer school (Fireproof dancers who can blow up battlefields) and the Stormtongue school (Winged, can call lightning.) So they can get there fast and do a lot of damage. They have pretty good grunts, but no real elite troops other than the wizards. Currently, they're only at war with the Truils, who are proving annoyingly hard to actually be effective against, as the scattered truilish tribes tend to fade away after a few raids, and can cross land the Ulds consider 'conquered' in small groups. If they get too successful they're going to run into the Mammoth-riders and they may be in for a surprise. Dindarva's on the other side of heavily fortified mountains from Uldholm, but the east, the border with the empire, is less well defended because it's almost all broad open plains. They're hoping their improved combat sorcery and regular army will deter future imperial invasions. The Empire, in turn, is more worried about Dindarva and the war on other end of the country to even think about Uldholm.

Next time: Truils! and then? :siren: COMPANY RULES. :siren:

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

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

Alien Rope Burn posted:

Of course, reading about those ruins makes me just want to do a reactionary fantasy setting where this is the first civilization ever, the sorcerer-kings are around now, and there are no ruins anywhere. :argh:

This was kind of the idea, as I understand it, behind the Dawnforge d20 stuff- it was one of the setting search entries that eventually just got published on its own. "This is the first age, we are a mighty empire and everything is MORE MAGICAL AND MORE POWERFUL"

Being d20 I imagine instead of dungeons you wind up with "Oh no, the lord high zookeeper's game preserve has exploded, releasing his newest creation on the city, a horrible hybrid of OWL AND BEAR"

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

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



It's time for the most :black101: nation of Heluso and Milonda, the TRUILS. Truils are cannibal, mammoth riding, drug-crazed, werewolf barbarians. Well, technically they are three tribes. One is a tribe of mammoth riding barbarians (The Mountain Riders), one is a tribe of werewolf barbarians, (The Night Hunters) and one are folks who use a lot of a special drug called Kratig (The Bluefaces. So it's only a slight misrepresentation!

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

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

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

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

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

Next time: COMPANY RULES. Possibly even this month!

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

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

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

Mors Rattus posted:

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

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

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

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

Alien Rope Burn posted:

ANIME! :black101:


As far as I'm aware the first printing (with all the errors) sold out, and the second printing fixes them, but I can't find a definitive statement in that regard. You could always bug them directly.

Also there's going to be a supplement, good to see! :D

Yeah, and anyone who ordered the first printing is apparently getting the supplement free, which is an 'extra mile' level of cool.

Speaking of cool, I am cool with my not-yet-completed and ever dragging onwards Reign review being posted to whatever site.

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

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

Halloween Jack posted:

BTW, is Double Cross for sale in PDF form anywhere?

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

Not legally- my understanding is that the licensing terms for the game prevent any kind of electronic release. Which suggests mainly that they need to get the TBZ guys to negotiate a license for them next time, since Tenra Bansho Zero is by the same publisher and a pdf version of it didn't have any issues.

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

There's only one thing in the mountains that leaves a track like this. The creature of legend that roams the Timberline. My people named him Sasquatch. You call him... Bigfoot.
The Double Cross chargen stuff makes me want to see a House Husband/Stage magician. Either Work/Cover or Cover/Work; either way the dude will just hang around the house, watching the kids in a tuxedo and keeping them out of trouble with card tricks. Cleaning the rug by pulling it out from under the furniture without disturbing it! Etc.

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

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

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

Halloween Jack posted:

Any idea where "Gjaum" comes from? Is it some weird Japanese reference, oddly transliterated?

A couple of reviews I've seen suggest the original text is just "Germ", so the transliteration is to both keep something like the Japanese pronunciation and also look less dumb to English-speaking readers, at a guess.

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

There's only one thing in the mountains that leaves a track like this. The creature of legend that roams the Timberline. My people named him Sasquatch. You call him... Bigfoot.
Side note on the Double Cross front- the Advanced Rulebook is available for ordering on the Ver. Blue store now. (My copy is already shipping.)

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

There's only one thing in the mountains that leaves a track like this. The creature of legend that roams the Timberline. My people named him Sasquatch. You call him... Bigfoot.
Pick the right powers for an Exile and you can basically be Monkey D. Luffy. There's two different powers that let you bounce attacks by guarding them and flexing your body around them to absorb the impact, and one that lets you corkscrew your limbs up to make an attack harder to critically dodge.

Of course it also has powers that let you heal others with your own flesh and blood...

...with the implication in the name (Cannibalize) that they eat you to trigger the effect. :stonk:

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

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

Cyphoderus posted:

Other Renegade manifestations

What if the Renegade infects something non-human, but the resulting creature doesn't gain consciousness and self-awareness? Such cases are known as EX Renegades. They are animals or objects or places infected and demonstrating special abilities, but they don't have free will and don't act autonomously. Many beasts and weapons of legends were actually just EX Renegades. Think of them as the "enchanted" things in Double Cross' universe: an "enchanted sword" is a special sword infected by Renegade. A "magical beast" is probably an infected animal. A "cursed place" is an infected mansion or forest.

When a lot of Renegade virus material lumps together, it can crystalise. The resulting object is known as a Renegade Crystal. They're not just concentrated solidified virus: an Overed can incorporate the crystal into their own body, and the extra viral load enchances their powers. The only problem is that it's impossible to remove the crystal without either killing the Overed or forcing them to turn into a Gjaum.

Both of these are neat things, but at no point does the book ever tell you how to use them mechanically.

Renegade Crystals, at least, are in the Advanced book that just came out. Basically they're a "Trait Lois": you trade one of your permanent lois slots for extra power. Dunno if EX-Renegade items made it in.

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

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

Forums Terrorist posted:

Spelljammer owns because it's basically mainlining 80s into your eyeballs.

Mainlining the eighties!...in 1993.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHGz5r-b1do

Edit: (This absolutely counts as 'Notably awful RPG stuff'.)

unseenlibrarian fucked around with this message at 20:42 on Nov 26, 2013

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

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

Domus posted:

Wait wait wait. Let's look at that spell list again. Level 13.


Tacos? What does a taco have to do with this?

I think that was a hasty edit after they changed the text to "Opposite Sexual persuasion" as opposed to "Opposite Sex" from the first edition. In that version "Tacos" was "Amthors", a reference to one of the writer/playtesters Terry Amthor, who was openly gay.

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

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

SynthOrange posted:

What do Pure Morpheus characters get that crosses dont?
They get the ability to make drastic buffs to their creations (+5 to a single aspect of a created item) or +5 dice to a check using the other pure power.


But the real benefit is that they can put 5 ranks instead of 3 into Morph Vehicles and build a mecha with their brain.

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unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

There's only one thing in the mountains that leaves a track like this. The creature of legend that roams the Timberline. My people named him Sasquatch. You call him... Bigfoot.
The best part is that Paris being core earth dominant means that, even though your cyberware stuff -can- still work, the first time you roll a one, you disconnect and it stops working- basically a 5 percent chance of it shutting down every time you use it. And if you're an ord, it's probably not gonna come back on any time soon. Good luck with that, faceless mook gangsters.

unseenlibrarian fucked around with this message at 00:33 on Jan 7, 2014

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