Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Locked thread
Nuns with Guns
Jul 23, 2010

....?


GimpInBlack posted:

Hollowpoint, the game of bad people doing bad things for bad reasons. Think The Expendables or comics like 100 Bullets or The Losers.

TechNoir, hard-boiled detective fiction in a dystopian near-future. If Dashiell Hammett wrote Cyberpunk 2020 games, it might look a lot like this.

Amaranthine, a game about serially reincarnating immortals and the bastards that love them. Best described as "like Highlander, but good."

I vote TechNoir, too. Noir Cyberpunk sounds interesting.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007





GimpInBlack posted:



I love these. They're very Leonardo da Vinci/Voynich manuscript, and the symbolism is actually decipherable once you have a decent idea of what's really going on. In fact, you know what?

It's contest time!

First person to figure out the hidden meaning behind all the text and images on a page of the Usher Codex gets a pdf copy of Aletheia, delivered via DrivethruRPG. If you already have it, I'll buy you one of Abstract Nova's other weird-as-hell RPGs. Stick to one page per entry, and no duplicating pages--if a previous entrant gives up on completing a page, someone else can claim it. If it looks like fewer than five people are going to enter, I'll let people try for multiple pages. Good luck!

3 and 5 appear to be the same page.

EDIT: They don't all appear to be loading in this post but check the original post.

hectorgrey
Oct 14, 2011


It wasn't that they introduced magic so much as how they handled it that bothered me.

GimpInBlack
Sep 27, 2012

That's right, kids, take lots of drugs, leave the universe behind, and pilot Enlightenment Voltron out into the cosmos to meet Alien Jesus.


Tasoth posted:

Page four has to deal with the world past the ocean which shores has the psychogundams on it. It also has to deal with the rotation through whatever layer that is that mirrors you, as well as being able to displace oneself from space-time and the ability to travel across the world once one passes through the lakes surface. So, I'm guessing that making it beneath the waves lets you time travel, warp through space and that Lam may have been Jesus.

You really don't have to get me anything, I have a backlog of games to read. I just really like puzzles.

I assume you mean page three since you talked about the mirroring rotation and that's pretty prominent imagery on page 3. You've got most of the gist of it, but on all five pages each image and piece of text is a specific reference to something. Some are pieces of the game's fiction, some are drawn from real science, religion, or philosophy.


Midjack posted:

3 and 5 appear to be the same page.

EDIT: They don't all appear to be loading in this post but check the original post.

drat, I have no idea how that happened. Should be fixed now--page 5 has the picture of a kangaroo on it. EDIT: Oh, I see now. For some reason page 3 got uploaded to imgur twice and I grabbed the duplicate as the last image in the sequence instead of page 5. Weird.

dwarf74
Sep 2, 2012






Buglord

Bieeardo posted:

Witch Mountain and The Watcher in the Woods, with a side order of The Black Hole's ending sequences.
You just totally gave me flashbacks to my family's collection of copied VHS movies from when I was growing up. All of a sudden I was sitting here and I was 8 years old.

GimpInBlack
Sep 27, 2012

That's right, kids, take lots of drugs, leave the universe behind, and pilot Enlightenment Voltron out into the cosmos to meet Alien Jesus.


dwarf74 posted:

You just totally gave me flashbacks to my family's collection of copied VHS movies from when I was growing up. All of a sudden I was sitting here and I was 8 years old.

You know what, I've been trying to figure out why I like Aletheia as much as I do, and goddammit this is it. I had all those movies on VHS as a kid, and The Black Hole especially scared the poo poo out of me.

Rockopolis
Dec 21, 2012

I MAKE FUN OF QUEER STORYGAMES BECAUSE I HAVE NOTHING BETTER TO DO WITH MY LIFE THAN MAKE OTHER PEOPLE CRY

I can't understand these kinds of games, and not getting it bugs me almost as much as me being weird


Well, it was either Tekumél, Blue Planet or this, and the Traveller F&F inspired me to pick this for my very first Fatal and Friends.
I've got pretty much every splat or scenario pdf.

Egregious Offenses, how much of Traveller were you planning to do?


Let's starve, with
Twilight 2000 v2.2 (1993)
Frank Chadwick, Game Designers Workshop
Part 1; How this Mess Started


Twilight 2000 v2.2 is a post-apocalyptic RPG set in post-WWIII Poland, in the far future year 2000.
It's a very spergy grognard sort of game, notable for being a post-apocalyptic game not having much, if any, in the way of sci-fi weirdness.
It's largely about scarcity, with the players frequently trying to find supplies, carting around a still to brew more fuel for their vehicle, and just trying to survive life in a very scary world. It's actually kind of like Mad Max

The book opens with a forward discussing the shift from a D10 system to a D20, to give the game more granularity and make it compatible with Traveller New Era.

There was apparently a big "Oops, no more Soviet Union" acknowledgement between version 1&2, but I can't find it.; probably not the only thing that's changed since they were guessing the future.

Then, the timeline leading up to the setting, starting in 1989. The Warsaw Pact explodes in a wave of pro-democracy protests and revolts, reform politicians elected, governments toppling, Soviet troops withdrawn, you know how it goes. Central Asian republics and the Caucasus are a hotspot, with a constant low level insurgency. The Gulf War rolls along, but the big issue on everyone's mind is the German reunification, and there's a lot of tensions between the Eastern European countries.
Pro-democracy protesters in China get crushed.

Saddam gets a brief mention in 1991, then it's back to Europe as Yugoslavia breaks apart into civil war, the insurgency in the Central Asian republics continues to get worse, and in August hardliners in Moscow launch a coup, imprisoning Gorbachev. Protestors and dissident army units gather Moscow, but are scattered by soldiers of the Kantemir division and the KGB Alpha Team, killing Russian President Yeltsin and 800 other protestors.
Wait, what?

Yeah, the big alt-history event for Twilight 2000 version 2 was the coup attempt actually suceeding. I'm not sure what it was in version 1.

So, the coup succeeds, and the new government declares the Soviet Union is back together, and...nobody wants to sign up.

1992 rolls around, and it's mostly bad poo poo going down, but in a local sense; unhappy rebels everywhere, continued civil war in Central Asia, that kind of thing.
In the US, unhappiness about drugs, trade, and military demobalization means the Republicans are out and Democrat John Tanner is elected President, with Deanna Pemberton as Vice President.

1993, and the drug problems in the US are just getting worse.
Back in Europe, Germany is having problems with skinheads and a weak economy in East Germany, and they...decide to pass strict immigration laws (mentioned as an attempt to compromise).
Central Asia settles down to constant guerilla warfare, reminiscent of the war in Afghanistan.

In 1994, Germany quietly starts beefing up its military.
There's another pro-democracy movement in China, but better prepared, lasting whole months before being put down. It also strains the government enough that regional military commanders start setting themselves up in China.
In the US, prototype-AIDS vaccine gets rushed through trials.

1995. China and the USSR go to war, when the hardliner government and northern warlords see an opportunity to press for border adjustments. The Soviets make a rapid initial advance, but the Chinese mobilize, do way better than expected, and the war turns into a giant meatgrinder.
With Eastern Europe still going crazy, Germany decides to military again, freaking the hell out of Poland.

1996, the wars are dragging badly on the Soviets, who are forced to mobilize category B divisions and send them East, and prepare the category C and worse soldiers.
Poland, freaked out by Germany and Belarus, opens talks with the USSR, resulting in Warsaw Pact II; gently caress Belarus. The new Pact consists of the USSR, Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, and the Czech Republic. Belarus gets straight up partitioned.
Border tensions between Germany and Poland break out into full-on, half-assed war. Germany loses, the Pact plans to repartition Germany, and...Germany calls on NATO. poo poo is going down. By the end of the year, Europe is one giant war.
Also, the Shining Path take half of Peru, and most of South America is in a similar state.

1997, war, war never changes-oops, the Soviets have started using tac nukes; 'sparingly', on troop concentrations in the West, liberally in China. NATO responds in kind.
No one is willing to go all out on white people, but they go in a slowly escalating tit-for-tat exchange of tac nukes, military, then logistic and industrial targets (including decapitation strikes on the US), before realizing "holy poo poo are we actually using nukes?"
India and Pakistan nuke each other to finish off the year.

The winter of 1997-1998 is much colder than usual, with famines and crippled infrastructure making things worse. Spring thaw leads to global epidemics from rotting corpses and lack of medicine. Global casualty rates are around 50%.
France and Belgium close their borders to refugees, using military force and pushing up to the Rhine.
Back in central Europe, the military is chewed up pretty badly, but not as badly as the civilians and civilian government. The fighting grinds to a halt because of supply problems, but "there are no surviving governments to negotiate [peace]".
In the US, the Joint Chiefs are the de facto government, and the food riots and mistreatment of Mexican refugees lead to a war with Mexico.
More war in Central Europe, and a little nuclear gently caress you to the UK and Italy.

In 1999, Congress reconvenes, filled mostly by local strongmen. The Joint Chiefs say gently caress that, and boom, MilGov and CivGov. Large parts of the country refuse to pick a side and ignore both.

By 2000, most of the armies have settled into cantonment systems, just to raise food and keep up recruitment from locals. Nominal titles of units no longer mean anything about unit size.
"In early summer, the German Third Army, spearheaded by the US Eleventh Corps, moves out of it's cantonments on what is to become one of the last strategic offensives of the war."

The chapter ends with a sidebar of two characters reminiscing about TV, and how it made dictators look crazy.



Remarks
Looking back on this, the setting relies on people being crazier violent maniacs. Reading the timeline closely isn't that great, to be honest. They keep throwing in random events and small details, which, while some lead to later plot points or serve as plot hooks, the overall effect is rather confusing. It does sort of give off a highschool history textbook vibe, with the way it's laid out.
On the plus side, I do like to extract the overviw being that the war crapped out and governments petered out over logistic and infrastructure issues as much as fighting.

This was a pretty rough start, I'm hoping the next section will be easier.
Twilight 2000 is even grimmer than I remembered; you're kind of still in the apocalypse part of post-apocalypse.
Also, I constantly want to make Twilight vampire jokes.



Next time; How I got in this mess! Character creation.



Checking my library, for the series, a lot of the splats are from version 2, but here's my list of Twilight 2000 books that I may cover next. I haven't read any in a while.
Twlight 2013; recent remake by someone else
Merc 2000; Alternate, non-apocalyptic, setting involving, well, mercenaries
American Combat Vehicle Handbook
Bangkok Cesspool of the Orient
Castle by the Sea
East Europe Sourcebook
Heavy Weapons Handbook
NATO Combat Vehicle Handbook
Nautical/Aviation Handbook
Operation Crouching Dragon
Rendezvous in Krakow
Soviet Combat Vehicle Handbook
Special Operations
Twilight Nightmares

Rockopolis fucked around with this message at 16:54 on Jan 27, 2014

dwarf74
Sep 2, 2012






Buglord

GimpInBlack posted:

You know what, I've been trying to figure out why I like Aletheia as much as I do, and goddammit this is it. I had all those movies on VHS as a kid, and The Black Hole especially scared the poo poo out of me.
The Watcher in the Woods scared the piss out of me, personally. I couldn't finish it until I was a few years older. And all I remember is crazy poo poo about an alternate universe and mirrors maybe? Or am I confusing it with another movie? Anyway, yeah, I can still see the handwritten labels in my head.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

No, that's the one. Watching the trailer and the alternate(?) ending on Youtube a few months ago still spooked the Hell out of me.

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007





Wikipedia says the divergence point of Twilight:2000 version 1 was a Sino-Soviet hot war that turned NBC. Germany took advantage of the distraction to reunify, the Soviets moved in on them, and Germany asked NATO for help. Events proceeded similarly after that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twilight_2000#Original_setting

Nostalgia4ColdWar
May 7, 2007

Good people deserve good things.

Till someone lets the winter in and the dying begins, because Old Dark Places attract Old Dark Things.


Rockopolis posted:

Twilight 2000 Goodness

One of the funny things I remember from the 1E book was a section where the narrator group had 2 vehicles. They painted "Advance Party" on one, and "Main Body" on the other.

It was a funny joke.

Rockopolis
Dec 21, 2012

I MAKE FUN OF QUEER STORYGAMES BECAUSE I HAVE NOTHING BETTER TO DO WITH MY LIFE THAN MAKE OTHER PEOPLE CRY

I can't understand these kinds of games, and not getting it bugs me almost as much as me being weird


50 Foot Ant posted:

One of the funny things I remember from the 1E book was a section where the narrator group had 2 vehicles. They painted "Advance Party" on one, and "Main Body" on the other.

It was a funny joke.
There's something similar opening up the chapter on character creation.

I found the quote I was looking for, on the back, I think it sets the tone well.
The war has raged for years. The high-tech ammo is almost gone. High-tech equipment is failing, piece by piece, with no spares to fix it. The front lines are held by a few grim, desperate soldiers.
The US 5th Division holds the line in Poland. Now, a Soviet encirclement has cut it off in a province ruled by ambitious warlords, local militias, and bands of marauding deserters. HQ is 200 klicks to the rear and powerless.
Your last order sets you free
"Good luck. You're on your own."

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Rockopolis posted:

Let's starve, with
Twilight 2000 v2.2 (1993)
Frank Chadwick, Game Designers Workshop
Part 1; How this Mess Started


1992 rolls around, and it's mostly bad poo poo going down, but in a local sense; unhappy rebels everywhere, continued civil war in Central Asia, that kind of thing.
In the US, unhappiness about drugs, trade, and military demobalization means the Republicans are out and Democrat John Tanner is elected President, with Deanna Pemberton as Vice President.

I am almost for certain that John Tanner is supposed to be a reference to Tanner '88, a HBO mini-series by Robert Altman and Garry Trudeau, one of the first long-form dramas original programming the network put together in the '80s (most of HBO's programming were comedy sketch shows or episodic television like Phillip Marlowe, Tales From The Crypty, and The Hitchhiker) and the one that gathered a lot of outside acclaim. It's about a Democrat representative from Michigan named Jack Tanner who was running for the Democratic nomination for president in 1988 and actually featured a lot of real life personages like Bob Dole, Bruce Babbit, and Linda Ellerbee.

Rockopolis posted:

The chapter ends with a sidebar of two characters reminiscing about TV, and how it made dictators look crazy.

You need to post this, either as a scan or as put it in quote text. This is a legit interesting piece, not just about the psychology and philosophy behind Twilight 2000, but also in general.

I've been thinking about recently about Twilight 2000 and the missed opportunity that Twilight 2013 was. I'd love if someone made a new version but call it Twilight 2000, but fill it with the alternate history weapons that Twilight 2000 touched upon instead of the stuff that we're using now.

AmiYumi
Oct 10, 2005

I Forgot To Hail King Torg




Fairy Meat: General Task Resolution!

Okey-doke, let's just get right into this. As I said before, Fairy Meat uses a regular deck of playing cards as a randomizer/task-resoluter/fate-determiner instead of boring ol' dice like most games. Jokers stay in (and generally live up to their name), and suits usually don't matter except for magic and the dreaded Ace of Spades. The deck gets reshuffled every round.

Most actions are resolved by having each side draw a hand from the deck, with size determined by their stats, weapons, circumstance modifiers, spells, etc.; these modifiers can definitely reduce hand size to zero. Each player chooses a card (which is easy to do if you only draw one!), and highest value card wins. For the purposes of the Fairy Deck, "number" cards count as the number on the card (2-10), while "trump cards" (Jack/Queen/King/Ace) work as support: every trump card placed behind/under a number card counts as +1. Thus, placing down a Royal Flush would count as a 14 (10+1+1+1+1) and would have been much better to draw in a card game that wasn't about cannibal fairies.

Wild Trumps are what happens when a fairy uses a trump card as their "main card", either by choice or because their hand didn't have a number card. In that case, start drawing from the Fairy Deck and putting cards down on top of the wild trump until a number card is drawn (or a Joker*), at which point the number card counts as the "main card" with the wild trump and any others drawn each adding +1 as usual.
Special Cards: The two cards that have special effects - most of the time - are Jokers and the Ace of Spades. What that effect is varies based on what the cards are being drawn for, but generally speaking Jokers are a "critical miss" of sorts that negates an action and/or makes things awkward, while the Ace of Spades is evil and nasty and results in bad things happening.

*I think; the rules aren't very clear on this point, but I believe drawing a Joker as part of a wild trump stops the draw and has the Joker take effect.

Rounds/Turns/Timing
Each round starts with the Fairy Deck being reshuffled and an "Order Card" getting dealt to each Fairy. Each fairy then takes a turn (one each of Move/Attack/Twinkle in whatever order the players feels like) according to their Order Card, at which point the current round ends and the next round begins.

Order Cards don't do the number/trump divide; turn order is determined by a count down (Kings->Aces), followed by a count up (Aces->Kings). Players can choose to have their fairy take its turn on the count down, or wait until the count up. Ties are either resolved with a tiebreaker draw (higher card wins), or by suit (if you've house-ruled a suit order). A fairy with multiple Order Cards (which can happen from certain spells or by Thinking) still only gets one turn, but gets to choose which of their Order Cards they want to act on.
Special Order Cards: Having a Joker for an Order Card counts as an interrupt; that fairy can act whenever the player reveals the Joker and shouts an obscenity. The Ace of Spades was addressed in the FAQ/Errata on the website (and in the back of WAR); that fairy's eyes change color, and then she acts when the count-down gets to "Ace".

Thinking: A fairy can spend Twinkle points (described later) to engage in the most unfairylike behavior of "thinking", with each Twinkle point gaining them an extra Order Card.

Fairy Cards
Each Fairy gets its own Fairy Card, which has a space for their name and armaments and is divided into "Life" and "Meat" sections. Fairies start with a number of Live, Kill, and Twinkle counters in the "Life" section based on their fairy type (and point cost); as they take damage, Live & Kill Points start to end up in the "Meat" section. A fairy with all its Live & Kill counters in "Meat" is exactly that, and can be nibbled on by any other fairies on the battlefield (including former teammates; meat's meat).

Kill Points are the little skull counters, and count for offensive actions. A fairy without Kill Points can only attack if they go into a Kill Frenzy**.

Live Points are the little heart counters, and count for defense. Simple as that.

Armor Points aren't described in the Fairy Meat core book, but show up in every other book for the line. They're the little shield counters, and they function as a sort of "virtual Live Point". Each point of Armor gives an extra card for Live draws, and Armor Points are only damaged by magical attacks or Jokers (which chew through Armor Points first). Armor Points don't count for keeping you alive, of course: a fairy without Live or Kill points is still dead no matter how much Armor they have.

Twinkle Points aren't used the same way as Kill/Live/Armor, instead being used as a pool of "spell points" to spend. They're the little star tokens that aren't in the counter image above, but are in this example card.

**I'll get into it later, but a Kill Frenzy is basically a death-spiral that converts all a fairy's Live points into Kill points permanently, including points healed or cannibalized in the future

To summarize with an example, let's say our orange-headed friend Danderind is a Wild Fairy ("She's eaten before and she's jonesin' for more"). She has 3 Kill points, 3 Live points, and 1 Twinkle. Before any other modifiers come into play, Danderind draws a three-card hand to attack, a three-card hand to defend, and has one Twinkle Point to spend on magic or Thinking. If/when she starts to take damage (or eats other fairies!), her hand size will change according to her Kill/Live totals.

Going to post this now and follow up with some of the more advanced rules in a few minutes; my wifi is seriously acting up and I'm going to swap to a cabled connection.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011


Welp, Karl Pilkington fairy was chosen. I'm content.

Egregious Offences
Jun 15, 2013


Rockopolis posted:

Well, it was either Tekumél, Blue Planet or this, and the Traveller F&F inspired me to pick this for my very first Fatal and Friends.
I've got pretty much every splat or scenario pdf.

Egregious Offenses, how much of Traveller were you planning to do?
Just the Mongoose Traveller rulebook. I'm almost half way through this thing, too. The book's less than 200 pages long.

Mitama
Feb 28, 2011



GimpInBlack posted:

Hollowpoint, the game of bad people doing bad things for bad reasons. Think The Expendables or comics like 100 Bullets or The Losers.

TechNoir, hard-boiled detective fiction in a dystopian near-future. If Dashiell Hammett wrote Cyberpunk 2020 games, it might look a lot like this.

Amaranthine, a game about serially reincarnating immortals and the bastards that love them. Best described as "like Highlander, but good."

I own the first two games and they both own, but I would love to see Technoir get the F&F treatment.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

Solving all of life's problems through enhanced casting of Occam's Razor. Reward yourself with an imaginary chalice.



I'm pretty drat interested in any of those. I have Hollowpoint already, though, so put me down for TechNoir.

AmiYumi
Oct 10, 2005

I Forgot To Hail King Torg


Continuing from where I left off!


Actions/Movement
On its turn, each fairy gets one each of Move, Attack, and Twinkle. These can be done in any order the player wants, but can't be combined (no attacks during a move, etc.). Movement is one of four options: Pose ("The fairy sits still and looks pretty"; only able to pivot in place, but +1 card to attack draws), Pounce (can clear any terrain up to 12" high but only moves 3"; can be used to initiate Wrestling* and puts the defender at a pretty large disadvantage if successful), Frolic (can clear 6" and move 6"), or Flutter (clear 3", move 12"; -1 card to attack draws; can be turned into a Rush and/or used as a way to start Wrestling). Note that all measuring in Fairy Meat is only done after declaring/deciding actions; pre-measurements would be granting fairies far too much credit.

Meat
As described before, damaged Kill & Live points end up in the "Meat" section of the Fairy Card until the fairy runs out of points in the "Life" section and dies, becoming a magically-delicious snack for other fairies to munch on.

I almost posted the picture from the meat section in the book, but decided I should probably link it instead and used a pic from later in the book.

Dead fairies remain on the field, preferably tipped over onto their side, so that other fairies (including former teammates) can munch on them. Any fairy in direct contact with the corpse (base-to-base, if you will) can use a Move or Attack action (or both!), as well as give up their opportunity to cast a Twinkle spell, to take a bite. Each bite transfers one of the deceased fairy's Kill or Live points - eater's choice - from the corpse's "Meat" section to the fairy gourmand's "Life" section. All fairies have a maximum of 12 points (Kill+Live) in the "Life" section, but can have a theoretically infinite number of points in their "Meat" section as long as they keep taking damage and eating. Fairies at 12 points in "Life" can still eat, it just doesn't have any beneficial effect (other than denying other fairies meat).

Audience Participation: The Gooniest Fairyband: I don't want to get into the complicated combat bits without some examples to use, so let's get on that! The book suggests a 100-point warband, so let's see where we end up...

Tasoth posted:

Danderind: Has a head like an orange.
We already decided Danderind was a Wild Fairy (Kill 3/Live 3/Twinkle 1), and let's say she forgot to bring along any weapons because it's easier and funnier that way. She knows Sweet-style Twinkle, but isn't very likely to use it with only 1 point to throw around. Danderind costs a piddly 14 points and won't stand a chance against most other fairies if she tries anything other than wrasslin'.

Robindaybird posted:

Dazzledew is inattentive and likes finding novel uses for plants
Dazzledew is a Glitter Fairy, who are kinda-sorta throwbacks to how fairies used to be. They're smarter and more magical, but meat doesn't stick to them very well. Her latest experiments have resulted in Amber Armor (a piece of equipment from the WAR sourcebook; magic armor-paint made from leaves and sap and amber) and a Ripper to carry around. She has 2 Kill Points, 2 Live Points, 1 Armor Point, and 4 Twinkle; she knows Mean-style magic (so she can shoot rose thorns at things), and costs (11+2+3) 16 points.

GimpInBlack posted:

Perkykiss is tired. So goddamn tired. She just wants this damned war to end, to let the agonized screams be swallowed up by cool, balming night, to--

Ooh! Dibs on his duodenum!
As a Seasoned Fairy, Perkykiss is a step above the Wilds and Glitters but hasn't quite started to spiral into the depths of addiction and Kill Frenzy. She carries a Crystal Blade, knows Sweet-style Twinkle, and is getting too old for this poo poo. Perkykiss has 4 Kill, 3 Live, 3 Twinkle, and costs a respectable (17+9) 26 points.

Tasoth posted:

Robin Rook: Will cut, will cut you so bad.
Robin Rook is a Hunter Fairy, carries around a Vibro-Master (a very large knife strapped to a reanimated mouse heart that beats fast enough to turn the whole thing into a magical turkey-carver), knows Mean-style Twinkle, and should not be allowed anywhere near children. She has 6 Kill points, 4 Live points, 2 Twinkle, and costs (23+5) 28 points.

Baofu posted:

Cherrybells is a fussbudget who is always fashionable.
Cherrybells is a Wild Fairy with fabulous boots and what all the other fairies admit is a very pretty knife. She knows Sweet-style Twinkle, has the same 3/3/1 setup as Danderind, and costs the remaining (14+2) 16 points.

This took a bit longer than I thought, so I'll have to cut it here and save what to do with this mess of a warband until next update.

*I was sure until JUST NOW that the game called it "Wrasslin'", to the point I had to triple-check myself.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Flip a coin between TechNoir and Hollowpoint, I'd be interested in hearing about either of them (or both).

oriongates
Mar 14, 2013

Validate Me!




GenericServices posted:

I'd sure hate being a wizard in here. How many scrolls have actually gone by at this stage? You're hitting level ten (hypothetically, anyway) by these regions and I'm honestly not sure if you'd have found one scroll per level by this point. It's like they saw the whole "kick down doors, kill monsters, take their stuff" formula and stopped reading part-way through. Did these people even play D&D?

There are a couple scattered here and there, but at least half of them are divine, and there are very few higher level scrolls. Low level PCs might get ahold of the spellbook of Boykit (a 4rd level wizard), and you'd think it would be easy for the developers to fit a roughly level appropriate spellbook into each region, a dead adventurer, an enemy wizard, some ancient scholar's remains, etc. Region C's backstory features a powerful wizard, now dead, and you can explore his study where you can find his journal and two blank spellbooks, but as far as usable spells there is nothing but about 3 spells on scrolls. The vast majority of enemy arcane spellcasters are bards and sorcerers so there's no chance of getting any magic from them.

The only high level spellbook available is in Region I, which used to belong to Mahir. Probably the most valuable loot a wizard will ever find in the dungeon, since it has spells going up to level 7.

GimpInBlack
Sep 27, 2012

That's right, kids, take lots of drugs, leave the universe behind, and pilot Enlightenment Voltron out into the cosmos to meet Alien Jesus.


Kai Tave posted:

Flip a coin between TechNoir and Hollowpoint, I'd be interested in hearing about either of them (or both).

You guys aren't making it very easy to break the Hollowpoint/TechNoir tie.

All right, coin flipped, TechNoir is coming next. First post probably later this evening. I'll tackle Hollowpoint after. Both should be fairly short F&Fs.

Humbug Scoolbus
Apr 25, 2008

The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. Shame, Despair, Solitude! These had been her teachers, stern and wild ones, and they had made her strong, but taught her much amiss.


Clapping Larry

Rockopolis posted:

Well, it was either Tekumél, Blue Planet or this, and the Traveller F&F inspired me to pick this for my very first Fatal and Friends.
I've got pretty much every splat or scenario pdf.

Once I finish the last write up for V&V I was thinking about doing Blue Planet.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Ars Magica: Transforming Mythic Europe

The Island of the Magicians draws on a key distinction in the Code: magi can own land, they just can't contest its sovereignty with nobles. In many places, such as England, this means magi can't own land. In others, like Provence or Hungary, magi have held land for centuries. However, there is nowhere in Europe that a magus might claim enough land to found a country without angering a king. So...why not make one?

Your first step, obviously, is building a wall - a hollow island, in essence, to denote a boundary and make your later work easier. This stone wall will also protect the earth within from erosion. A magical wall is one piece, seamless and perfect, and is not bound by the limits of what men's hands can wrought and move. The book suggests stone monoliths two paces thick - thick enough not to be cracked by waves or ships or monsters. They will be supported by fill later. They should be perhaps 30 paces high if you plan for the North Sea - that's enough to reach the bottom there in many places.

The simplest design for our proto-island wall is an open cylinder. This makes a circle suitable for usage by circle and ring magic, which is quite a handy trick, Making it hollow and open-ended gives you more stone to use for a bigger boundary. You don't have to excavate the bedrock of the sea floor, as you would with an inverted cone shape or a shape with pillars. In practice the cylinder will really be a conic frustrum with the tip cut off, to avoid erosion, but for ease of calculation this is identical to the cylinders for most purposes. It is only a level 30 spell to make a wall 3 miles in diamater, a level 35 for a 30 mile diameter and a level 40 for a 301 mile diameter.

If you want to go to a deeper area, you need a bigger wall. For a wall 240 paces high - enough for the deeper parts of the North Sea - you get a third of a mile diameter at level 30, 3.8 miles at 35 and 37.6 miles at 40. Much smaller island, but further from land. You might prefer an open-ended rectangle, for some reason. This is more prone to erosion and does not create a natural circle, but is doable. (Again, it will in practice be a pyramidal frustrum but ignore that.) At the shallow depths, a level 30 spell should get you a square 2.4 miles to a side, a level 35 23.6 miles to a side, and a level 40 236.7 miles to a side. If you really wanted a solid stone cylinder, you could get that. At the shallow depth, level 30 would mean 206 paces in diameter, 35 would be 651, and 40 would be 1030.

You may want to have a wall that is more than a simple geometric shape. It is relatively easy to modify the spells involved to alter the shape with ornamentation or add it later. Creating a crenellated wall, for soldiers to hide atop, is only one magnitude of increase. A fire step is actually even easier. A fire step, see, is a Hermetic development from the Schism War - a raise step behind the wall to allow defends to step up, cast a spell and step down, allowing better concealment than crenellation or even arrw slits. Tremere magi love fire steps, and they just need additional fill later. Making walls higher just means redoing some of the earlier math, and adding arrow slots or stone dropping points to the wall is a single magnitude increase. They are rare;y needed for sea walls - who directly attacks by sea?

You will probably want to modify the wall to add a sea gate later - a gate that lets ships pass into a sheltered port inside, which can be sealed at high tide so that ships won't rise inside and cargo can be more easily unloaded. This is much more efficient than most docks use and protects the docks from erosion. A sea gate adds one magnitude to the spell involved, as a sea gate requires metal parts. An interna harbor wall will require more material, though. Statuary and carvings into the wall add a magnitude unless they are purely an expression of the caster's sigil, in which case carvings are free.

But what if you want a metal wall? Base metals are good for warding off seaweed, especially copper, due to their protective layer of corrosion, though alloys of iron lack this. They are much harder to make, though - two magnitudes higher at base and only 1/27th as large. You need a level 45 spell for a 1.1 mile diameter cylinder, and a level 50 for an 11 mile one. Noble metals are even harder - three magnitudes above base difficulty, and also a bad idea - people will try to raid you for the walls alone. You might use an Herbam requisite in the spell to make a wall that heals itself. You could also use Animal or Corpus, but then your walls bleed and scab, which is gross. Ignem might make your wall burn forever. In theory, you could make a wall of wood or bone, but the North Sea has things that eat both of those, which makes them a poor choice unless warded. Stone, wood and animal bone are all equally difficult to produce and may change the roles of faeries that will come later. Human bone is about as hard as metal and would attract very dark fae and even demons.

So, we have our cylinder. We now have to fill it. There are quite a few large, uninhabited rocks in the North Sea you could steal and use to fill the circle somewhat, reducing what else you have to fill and also giving you stone foundations for larger buildings. Stones may also come in handy for developing an aura, but we'll cover that later. Anyway, start with stealing a rock. Now, we can then add dirt, with a layer of topsoil. You don't need more than two paces of topsoil - even tree roots don't go that deep. So you can use basically anything to fill below that topsoil. For a 3 mile diameter island, you need just about 657 million cubic paces of dirt and soil. For a 30 mile island, 65.7 billion cubic paces. For a tall 3.8 mile island, 8.43 billion. For a tall 38 mile, 843.1 billion. For a square island 3.4 miles to a side, 535 million. For a square 23.6 miles to a side, 51.7 billion.

With magic, a level 20 spell can make 10 million cubic pacs of dirt. 25 can make 100 million. 30 can give 1 billion. 35 can give 10 billion. 40 can give 100 billion. 45 can give 1 trillion. Spare dirt can be used to make an ablative slope around the wall, or to make hills. It is equally easy to make clay, so you may as well use clay for the fill except for the topsoil - it has the added benefit of being able to dig down and find waterproof clay that lacks all the imperfections of normal clay that might cause pottery to catastrophically misfire as well as allow seawater in. This will protect the island's water table.

Stone is much harder to make, but is very useful for key parts of the fill. If you want large stone structures, you definitely want pilalrs of stone in the fill to act as foundations. Stone is three magnitudes above dirt of the same volume and another magnitude if you want mixed stone of various types rather than just one kind of stone. Now, you should also keep in mind: your island has no natural water source at all. So you're definitely going t want to use the vast subterranean areas of the island to make cisterns to hold rainwater. You could also use this to draw water up through walls by building the cisterns in that wy, or you might build cisterns in higher parts of the island, using magic to pump water up in order to give you pressured plumbing via gravity. You can also use the underground spaces to build rooms and storage areas - obviously you have plenty of space above ground, but there's some stuff for which underground chambers are more suitable.

Now, you have surface structures to make on your giant, empty island. It is generally easier to make these after the island - otherwise your spell is getting far, far too complex and also runs into design flaws. Making roads is a fairly simple task. Roads are either dirt, gravel or paved, and Hermetic magic finds gravel just as hard as paved, so why not just make stone roads? It's only a level 20 spell to make a road up to 37.8 miles long. That was easy! Buildings, well, less so. The easiest method, of course, is to make an island with enough leftover stone on hand to make buildings the normal way. However, that lessens the amount of stone for use in the sea wall. A level 20 spell can be used to mass produce identical houses 15 feet wide, 30 feet long and six feet high, with foot-thick stone walls. This makes 5 cottages at a time, which have roofs, though you may need to cut doors and windows in. At level 30, you can make 9 cottages, with hinged doors on pivots. Still entirely stone. An extra magnitude can make the cottages non-identical, and every additional magnitude purely for size multiplies the number of cottages by 10. A different level 30 spell will create 8 of these cottages, a road between them and sewage and water pipes for them. An extra magnitude allows the houses to be non-identical, which many appreciate.

Speaking of pipes, water can be stored in cisterns or lakes, and moved via aqueducts and rivers. Canals and lakes can be used to raise fish or iirrigate crops or move goods. They can also be used for sewers, or seperate pipes or trenches can be made. Canals, unlike streets, can be washed clear daily by tides, removing evil airs. Cities built on canals, such as Alexandria, are noted for their good air and health. Canals built by magi can be wider, deeper and less tied to the water table, allowing for larger cargoes on them, though obviously cargo transports need power - either from the current or from beasts pulling them. Stronger current makes it easy to go downstream but harder to go up Magi might plan for this by designing canals to go in parallel, opposite directions. Again, this is simple magic - level 20 to make a canal up to 1.26 miles long. This can also be used to make irrigation canals and drainage ditches. An added benefit of clay fill earlier means that clay canals don't even need stone lining to keep the water in. A similar spell can make a canal up to 909 paces long that is deep enough for most ships, or 5 miles long at level 25.

So now we have buildings and rivers. We still need plants and animals. It is, again, relatively simple magic. (This magic is not hard; it is, however, very expensive when you add it all up. Vis costs build.) A level 20 spell can create a forest of up to a thousand adult trees. Every magnitude added for size multiplies that by 10, and an additional magnitude lets you precisely control the mix of plant types. A level 20 spell will let you create a thousand cubic paces of acorns, too, or 100 cubic paces of acorns whose mix of plant types you precisely control. You can then spread those and raise them to fruition with less expensive magic. The same level of magic will get you 1.25 acres of grassland. You have around 6000 acres on a 3-mile island. And remember: each magnitude added makes ten times as much grassland.

Next time: People and Animals and Magic

GimpInBlack
Sep 27, 2012

That's right, kids, take lots of drugs, leave the universe behind, and pilot Enlightenment Voltron out into the cosmos to meet Alien Jesus.


By the way, looking at the TechNoir book, it looks like the first post of my review will cover character creation. So if anybody has a concept for a hard-boiled cyberpunk private eye or an avenging street samurai wandering the Sprawl with her deadly Hanzo steel, go ahead and post it now and I'll do up some example characters. Pics would be even better--TechNoir is even lighter on artwork than Aletheia was.

EDIT: Whoever got me the avatar and custom title, you rock.

AmiYumi
Oct 10, 2005

I Forgot To Hail King Torg


GimpInBlack posted:

By the way, looking at the TechNoir book, it looks like the first post of my review will cover character creation. So if anybody has a concept for a hard-boiled cyberpunk private eye or an avenging street samurai wandering the Sprawl with her deadly Hanzo steel, go ahead and post it now and I'll do up some example characters. Pics would be even better--TechNoir is even lighter on artwork than Aletheia was.
"Gene's a drat good investigator, always seems to know what his perp's thinking. Says it's because he's a coward, same as the men he tracks down."

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine


GimpInBlack posted:

By the way, looking at the TechNoir book, it looks like the first post of my review will cover character creation. So if anybody has a concept for a hard-boiled cyberpunk private eye or an avenging street samurai wandering the Sprawl with her deadly Hanzo steel, go ahead and post it now and I'll do up some example characters. Pics would be even better--TechNoir is even lighter on artwork than Aletheia was.

EDIT: Whoever got me the avatar and custom title, you rock.

Oh man, make a Peter Riviera. An artist with a bad habit of theft and a tendency to hurt more than necessary. For the art, you understand.

Majuju
Dec 30, 2006

I had a beer with Stephen Miller once and now I like him.

Mr. Maltose posted:

Oh man, make a Peter Riviera. An artist with a bad habit of theft and a tendency to hurt more than necessary. For the art, you understand.

This is the most understated reading of Peter Riviera I have ever seen. The dude's a god-drat psychopath! That said, excellent suggestion, stat the poo poo out of him.

Lemon-Lime
Aug 6, 2009


GimpInBlack posted:

By the way, looking at the TechNoir book, it looks like the first post of my review will cover character creation. So if anybody has a concept for a hard-boiled cyberpunk private eye or an avenging street samurai wandering the Sprawl with her deadly Hanzo steel, go ahead and post it now and I'll do up some example characters. Pics would be even better--TechNoir is even lighter on artwork than Aletheia was.

Sophie is a bicycle courier who moonlights as a grifter in Hitown nightclubs. She's good at talking and running/cycling, but not at fighting - what she can't solve by fast-talking she "solves" by getting the hell out of dodge.

Lemon-Lime fucked around with this message at 23:16 on Jan 27, 2014

MadScientistWorking
Jun 23, 2010

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


Humbug Scoolbus posted:

Once I finish the last write up for V&V I was thinking about doing Blue Planet.
The one thing that really surprised me about the version of Blue Planet I played was that for as scientifically accurate* as it is supposed to be the Fantasy Flight version of the game is remarkably light.

*Haven't read it at all so I can't remark.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011


Alto is a former corp security specialist. The kind you never want to meet when you're his job. But something went wrong, he went on the lam and now his home is anywhere were there is a bottom of a bottle. But sometimes, just sometimes, he remembers who he was before and tries to set things right.

AmiYumi
Oct 10, 2005

I Forgot To Hail King Torg


Kate used to be a good woman, but a half-dozen dead partners later she's just another badge with a gun. She's starting to realize just how far she's fallen, and worried how little she cares.

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine


Majuju posted:

This is the most understated reading of Peter Riviera I have ever seen. The dude's a god-drat psychopath! That said, excellent suggestion, stat the poo poo out of him.

Well, presumably he needs to be PC Playable.

Humbug Scoolbus
Apr 25, 2008

The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. Shame, Despair, Solitude! These had been her teachers, stern and wild ones, and they had made her strong, but taught her much amiss.


Clapping Larry

MadScientistWorking posted:

The one thing that really surprised me about the version of Blue Planet I played was that for as scientifically accurate* as it is supposed to be the Fantasy Flight version of the game is remarkably light.

*Haven't read it at all so I can't remark.

I've run both versions. The 2nd Edition is very playable and combat is pretty drat fast.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

Solving all of life's problems through enhanced casting of Occam's Razor. Reward yourself with an imaginary chalice.



Gimp: You're welcome dude. Now let's get galvanic.



CHAPTER FOUR: PART TWO


So Galvanic Weapons are A: pretty expensive and B: varying in legality. A lot of them don't have internal batteries and just use the ambient aetheric energy provided by the coal-powered Tesla Towers, so as long as you're anywhere within London's walls you can just use galvanic tech. It's actually pretty neat, you can just whip a desk lamp out of its box and turn it on and boom, light. The weapons also deal extra damage against people clad in metal armor, like chain mail and plate. Galvanic technology and weaponry has some big limitations, though. First of all, they carry charges that need time to replenish. Second of all, they're sorta fragile, and a hard drop or impact can give them hindrances to hit without being fixed. Third, you generally need to wear aetherically-grounded gloves when operating these things or else you run the risk of electrocuting yourself when firing the weapon. Those extra galvanic capacitors are basically like batteries for if you ever take them out of the city or if you want to use them without waiting for a recharge.

Dr. Merrifield's Pandemonius Timidifier: Dr. Merrifield was an English scientist who was kinda bummed out by the fact that the army and Deathwatch were perfectly happy to kill rioters despite the whole decline of population issue. So Dr. Merrifield worked on inventing a gun that incapacitates its targets without hurting them or killing them. And it worked! Kinda. It was mass-produced after the first round of tests and then they started the second round...and it turns out some of the first test subjects were either catatonic, brain-dead or insane. See, it works by firing an invisible alchemical jolt of energy to the brain. Anyone shot with the beam has to make a will roll to simply pass the gently caress out. If you succeed, you go to sleep for a while. If not, you have painful seizures for a few minutes. On a critical failure, it results in instant catatonia or brain death. Any victims who don't die from getting shot have to make another will roll, and failure results in gaining a new or amplifying an existing mental disorder. And a critical failure results in permanent brain damage.
So yeah, Dr. Merrifield was horrified and begged them to pull the weapon so he could make it safer. And the industrialists said "meh, no, too much work".
And so Dr. Merrifield killed himself.
The Timidifier doesn't work on the dead and it uses an alchemical solution as ammo. Every bottle of solution is good for five shots.
So yeah, I think this weapon really sums up NeoVictorian England and their smug attitudes as a whole.
Electro-Pulse grenade: a taser grenade that has a six-foot electrocution radius that shocks targets into submission. It recharges in a hour to be thrown again. It was made more for fighting people than robots so I don't know how well it works on Galvanics.
Stun Cane/Prod/Gloves: A taser-cane, a stun baton and a pair of heavy gloves that have a battery pack on the user. Stun canes or prods can be used at light or full strength; light uses one charge, strong uses three, and the batteries of a cane and prod hold six charges and nine respectively.

Van Haller Death Ray: Remember the gun Simon Phoenix uses in the second half of Demolition Man, the blaster rifle or whatever? It's a little bit like that. The Van Haller Death Ray is a ridiculously illegal two-handed shitkicker that fires a large ball of energy at targets. It holds four shots and can be recharged at a shot per half hour, or you can use a built-in crank to recharge a shot in thirty seconds. The energy ball leaves a thirty-foot diameter crater when it collides with something and anything within fifteen feet of the blast is knocked prone and set on fire on top of feeling the blast. Anything hit by the energy ball tends to be vaporized. The main reason why it's illegal is because you can easy bring down a building without wasting all of the shots, and if they were to get into the hands of anarchists London would be screwed. I don't even know how in the hell a PC would end up with one of these things besides making their own, and without a government license your character would be sent to prison for life.

Van Haller Lightning Gun: The Lightning Gun is Deathwatch's favorite mad science buddy. As accurate a rifle, pulling the trigger forces an ionic corridor to open up between you and the target. In the time of a blink, the target is hit with a bolt of hand-made lightning. It tends to explode targets, cook them instantly, set them on fire or knock them on their now-flaming rear end. Like the Death Ray, it has a minor area of effect that Deathwatch gleefully uses to take out crowds of animates. Holds six shots, a shot recharges in ten minutes or can be cranked in thirty seconds.

SCIENCE AND ALCHEMY
Alright so look at those friggin' prices. A Doctor starts with 40 pounds with which to spend. 40. And being a Doctor is a lot like being a Mad Scientist in Deadlands so making trippy poo poo is gonna be as important as performing back-alley surgery on your teammates. Unless your GM is gonna set some game time aside to run a few sessions where everyone takes missions for the explicit intention of getting money, you want to do two things. First, take the Qualities that let you have access to a private lab and private anatomy theater and the Doctor bonus that gives you government approval to experiment. Two, put some of your money aside for the ingame cost of upkeep of those facilities and stocking of reagents and supplies. Yeah, you actually have to spend ingame money to get the supplies you need and pay rent/upkeep of facilities and machines. If you have a reasonable GM (and I would do this), he would probably count some of the equipment necessary to artificially make life (like artificial wombs) as being included in the package and just make you eat the operating costs. For example: you're using a provided government facility with other doctors. If you don't, I would start stockpiling as much cash as you can. We'll look more in depth in the Alchemy chapter, but here's some of the stuff you might get to play with as a doctor.

Alchemical Lab: Everything you need to make potions, drugs and more. Has to be restocked from time to time. The travel version is, well, a travel version but also pretty delicate.
Anatomical Preservation System: Jars and containers and tanks to keep limbs and organs and other important squishy bits viable for experimentation and transplant up to six months. Necessary for keeping the parts you're gonna use for galvanic reanimation or if you have amputation-prone buddies.
Artificial Womb: These tanks let you grow artificial or living fetuses to term at whatever speed you want, letting you monitor and control gestation along the way using an artificial umbilical cord with an input on the outside. Anathema-grade tanks can be used to birth anathemas or normal human children as a surrogate, homunculus-grades are used to make homunculi.
Biogalvanic Reanimation Lab: This sucker helps you create biomechanical stuff, like prosthetic limbs, Galvanic automata and this and that. It comes with an anatomical preservation system installed, but having your own is good for storing spare parts. It can hold up to the contents of one whole person at a time, depending on what you're working on.
Interface Jar: Sweet fungi of Yuggoth, it's a Mi-Go jar! The Interface Jar lets you plop a human brain in that sucker and keep it on life support for transplant. The more complex the jar, the more it keeps the brain active and the more active the brain, the longer it takes to decay, deteriorate or go insane. The best jars can simulate all five senses and let the brain talk in a synthesized voice.
Oraculum: Oraculums are prosthetic eyes. Ideally, they would just be eyes but that would be make sense. Oraculums let the user gaze into the spirit world and sense the presence of the dead. They can also be used to see auras and when first installed they have a tendency to cause sleeplessness and mild terror. There are detriments to living with the eye at first but after a while the wielder will get used to it, though they tend to wear their prosthetics behind eye-patches unless they need to see the spirit world. They're kind of distracting and creepy otherwise and most wielders don't like them unless they're into seeing ghosts.
Rattler: Rattlers are like talk-boxes for people with esophageal cancer. They're small metal boxes that are slapped onto the throat of people who have black lung, throat cancer or a variety of smog-related diseases. They also sound really creepy with a dull, shaky mechanical monotone and most people with Rattlers prefer to never use them because they scare people. Using a Rattler gives you a -1 to all talking things besides Intimidation.
Ticker: How much fun would a clockwork artificial heart be? Answer: not very. Tickers are very rare and weaker than real hearts and need to be wound every six hours through a dial on your chest. A lot of people with Tickers have watches they monitor their hearts with. Most people with Tickers tend to live for a year and half due to the fact that artificial hearts are not as strong as real ones, and they have to take anti-rejection drugs to keep going. Someone with a Ticker has to make a monthly Vitality check and failure means that eventually you'll die. The one upside? Not having a working heart messes with the prey sense of Animates so it's harder for Animates to find and eat you.

For kicks, here's some Undertaker gear to finish the chapter up.
Animate Restraints: Restraints for Animates come in a rig of leather and iron that cover the hands, bind the wrists and ankles, hood the head and put a bit in their mouth. Then you can lug that dead rear end in a top hat to the local UOD bounty shop to get paid. The big problem with the restraints, though, is needing to grapple the Animate and wrestle it into submission before putting the bit in and going from there. A failure means it can bite you and that doesn't often end well. Side note: the game graciously informs me that aristocrats like buying the gear so they can play Sexy Zombie. I'll let you ruminate on that thought.
Dust Kit: Dust kits are small kits of brushes and little bins used to collect vampire ash. They're pretty much necessary if you're going to ever hunt vampires because the streets are filthy and windy.
Piercing Irons: Piercing irons are a pair of cast iron tongs that you can put on an Animate's (or person, or vampire) and squeeze together to destroy the brain with puncturing spikes. Handy for putting down immobilized zombies/anyone you want to kill gruesomely.
Vampire Hunter's Kit: A regular kit comes with stakes, a mallet, a mirror, a cross, garlic, a bag of salt, some wolfsbane, knives, needles, rope, a saw, a crowbar, an electric torch, vials and two doses of Stitch and Warlock (which are alchemical solutions). The deluxe kit comes with a heavy revolver, six silver bullets and a mold to make more. Both kits have lots of storage space too and some secret panels. Vampire hunting kits are handy assets for the PCs to carry around. While most of the time you need a sharp bit of wood and a loaded gun to kill a vampire, the kits are stocked with folkloric odds and ends to give you a helping hand if the vampire is not the common London type or prone to various manias and phobias. One of these kits would probably be a big boon in India.

And that's all of Chapter 4 done with. What have we learned? Apparently you do need anti-rejection drugs for certain things, Neo-Victorian doctors have managed to do limb transplants with no problems and can put a brain in a jar but they can't replace an eye with another eye, everything medical is really drat expensive and despite galvanic weaponry having tremendous potential it's pretty inefficient, fragile and expensive. poo poo only comes in small explosion or big explosion varieties if it's ranged and the melee weapons don't really have much of a charge arsenal either. They are handy and they do pack a punch but a knife or swordcane doesn't need a charge and metal armor can be reinforced to resist an electrical charge.

There's still more fun to come, though. Next up is Chapter 5 which talks about the rules for Animates, Vampires, Ghouls and Dhampirs and then after that is the Mad Science chapter about Thropes, Galvanics, Anathemas, Homunculi, Mercurials and having your own magical Neo-Victorian science adventures. What are most of those things, you ask? Good question! I only really talked about them in brief because they're only mentioned in brief. Let's just say I hope you're looking forward to carnivorous second-class citizens that slightly smell of racism analogues and vampires being emotionally and physically abusive assholes.

NEXT TIME: CHAPTER FIVE with HALF LIFERS, UNDEAD AND LOTS OF ANATOMY PICTURES

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


It's kind of amusingly fitting that the steampunk deathray crap is incredibly expensive, fragile, finicky, and doesn't really sound ready for prime time.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




Hearkening back to the setting intro, what I find most contrived about Unhallowed Metropolis is that the steampunk London is a completely rebuilt city in 2105. They spent a century fighting to retake and rebuild London, and they made everything as similar to 1890 as possible? The only changes to fashion in a century involve accessorizing your frock coat with S&M fetish wear. The steamjunk-justifying Tesla waves are the only interesting technological innovation, because the other main one is just another Generic lovely Cyberpunk Food.

Like, if you wanted to make a totally indulgent 60s-era sci-fi setting with spandex jumpsuits and no transhumanism, you might as well say that cyborgs are banned by the all-powerful Space Police instead of coming up with some long convoluted explanation that reads like a bad imitation of Dune.

Egregious Offences
Jun 15, 2013



Part 3: Yes, I happen to be fluent in Vilani.
Or, skills.

Skills in Traveller are a different beast than in other games. For one, skills do not have a predetermined attribute to use. Granted, some actions have fairly straightforward skill/attribute combinations, like Gun Combat and Dexterity, for shooting someone. But what if you're sneaking around in some Imperial base, doing some sick Sam Fisher moves with your Stealth 3, and now you're doing the splits between two walls above a doorway waiting for these guards to move oh god this was a horrible idea? Do you go with Dexterity? Nope, you use that to see if you can climb up there in the first place. Strength? Are you trying to push the walls apart without the guards hearing? No, in this case, you'd use Endurance. You grit your teeth and bear it while those shitheads keep blabbing about the latest game of gravball or something.

There's also the concept of "Effect", which is how well you succeed or how hard you fail whatever you were doing. While this is a common mechanic nowadays, the big distinction is the fact that rolling 0 Effect (rolling dead on) isn't really a success, and rolling a -1 Effect isn't really a failure. If you roll one of these, the Referee is told to let you succeed, but at a cost. For example, "You manage to shoot one of the pirates trying to hijack your ship, but now you're out of cover and in the open."

Then there are rules for situational and difficulty modifiers, preforming multiple actions and so forth. Finally, there are rules for how long an action takes and how you can "chain" together checks. The Referee will listen to whatever action you're trying to do, like repair the reactor, preform some scans, or get chummy with the local magistrate, and assigns a time variable to it, like hours, minutes or tens of minutes, rolls a d6 and tells you how long you took to do those things. It is possible to change the length of the task so you can get a bonus for taking longer, or a penalty to take less time. While Traveller has rules for basic assistance for checks, characters who want to help their friend out more can declare to the Referee that they are going to "chain together" checks, like preforming a Carouse check to get the magistrate "properly lubricated" so the other party member trying to gather info from him has an easier time. The problem is, if you fail the chained check, you'll end up giving the other person penalties. Maybe you get the magistrate to drink a little too much, and the other party member can't make heads or tails of his slurring speech.

So, how do you measure how good you are at something, anyway? I mentioned "level 0" in the post before this, that's considered the baseline of competence in a skill. You know what you're doing, but you don't have much experience in it. But it's not that easy. Most skills are linear in progression; you go straight up. But skills like Gun Combat, Drive, Engineering and the Science skills, start off at level 0, but every time you gain a rank, you have to choose some specialization to improve in. Engineering splits into Power, Electronics, J Drive and M Drive, and while you might have Engineering (J Drive) 3, your rank in any other Engineering skill is 0. But having level 0 beats the -3 penalty for lacking the skill completely.

This is where I kinda go off the rails to complain about something that confuses and annoys me. The Space Science skill has three specializations: Planetology, which is just geology with a fresh coat of paint (but there's no Geology skill, so that's fine), Robotics, which seems out of place because "the design and use of robots" seems more like an engineering thing, and Xenology, which is pointless because there's a Biology skill. But what really irks me is that the Space Science skill doesn't have the branch of science that's focuses on space and the stuff floating in it; Astronomy.

Will post combat stuff later in the week, homework has to get done at some point.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

Solving all of life's problems through enhanced casting of Occam's Razor. Reward yourself with an imaginary chalice.



Yeah, you would expect them to go all Judge Dredd to a certain extent, right? Every district can lock down in case of an emergency using high walls, bridges and large iron doors, the entire city is surrounded by 50 feet of thick concrete walls, the Royal Navy keeps an eye on the city with loaded cannons and Deathwatch patrols the wall barriers. But nobody ever decides "hey, let's build permanent structures" seeing how rampant property damage is a big issue. I mean yeah you could argue that the eventual lack of demand for new infrastructure would lead to a big economic downturn especially among construction companies and the working class but that's already happened. The labor riots and food riots are happening for a reason and you could make hand over fist through constant infrastructure repair.

But no, it's grimsteam darkpunk with heavy 19th century literature overtones so we can't invent environmental purification technology for the same reason you can't build a skyscraper for the same reason you can't make actual prosthetic replacements for the same reason not even the half-lifers can withstand the end of the world. Because they said so.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Ars Magica: Transforming Mythic Europe

So, our island has plants, water...it needs people to take care of it. We're medieval, so we obviously are going to think in terms of manors. A manor is approximately 600 acres, or less if the land is especially fertile. You get, average, 20 pounds of silver each year per manor, if well-managed. That takes between five and sixty peasants, depending on what they're doing to manage the land. An island 3 miles across with average fertility will support about ten manors, about the same as a small county. A 30 mile island will support about 755 manors. A 300 mile island will suppory 75,428 manors. From this you can easily figure out how many peasants you'll be needing. For comparison, England has about 3000 manors, total.

Of course, the island also needs animals. Some will appear even without your work, of course - insects spontaneously generate, and birds and bats will rapidly arrive to live on the island according to its location and weather. Once ships arrive, rats and cats will come with them. Larger animals will need either magi or faeries to bring them. But some vermin you want to introduce yourself. A level 35 spell will temporarily summon a pile of rotting cow corpses, to generate bees, for example. Bees are, after all, vital for flowers.

But anyway, let's assume we've brought in all the cows and horses and deer we want. We have a new problem now: the island, being new and artificial, has no auras, no vis sources, nothing supernatural at all. Now, there are four main ways to develop a Magic aura. First, areas of great natural beauty gain them by innate connection to the Magic Realm. Second, ancient structures slowly develop auras. Third, powerful rituals can leave an aura. Fourth, the presence of magical creatures can create or strengthen auras. So, where are we going to get these things?

Well, if you're lucky. you found a rock in the water that had an aura and built around it. Alternatively, perhaps you found a particularly beautiful peace of ocean and have an aura that goes onto your coast. This will be easier in the Atlantic Ocean rather than the North Sea - the Atlantic, after all, is the epitome of Ocean. Still, such auras will be weak. It's much, much easier to get an ancient structure - after all, you can steal one. Generally speaking, an aura gets stronger for each century it's been around, and some of that potency will be retained even if the structure is moved. Of course, these structures are usually quite large and made of stone. But still, you can move stone, right?

Now, magical residue - this requires magic of level 45 or highter, and such the rituals to create the island are not generally of that level of power, you probably won't have any of those. Still, you might try to hunt down objects with that power burned into them. Now, places with potent spirits do gain auras. However, they tend to prefer to live in auras, so...probably best to get an aura first and then use it to farm spirits. Still, the book does provide two sample creatures that might be brought to your island: a telechine, or an aspect of Phorcys.

Telechines are, or were, a small group of Greek titans - wizard-smiths who created the sickle of Cronus and the trident of Poseidon. Some say they fostered Poseidon. After the fall of the first Titanomachy, the home of the telechines, modern Rhodes, was invaded by Athena's followers, so they fled to the realm of Poseidon, who was always their ally. They emerged from the oceans later, armed with a potent weapon - a poison that could blight the land itself. The Olympians feared this weapon and destroyed the telechines with lightning. It is unknown where the survivors, if there were any, went. Some say they fled and hid beneath the sea. Others claim only one telechine was allowed to live - perhaps the wet-nurse of Poseidon - who went into exile beneath the sea, yet sometimes wanders the world as a human. The weapon of the telechines was the Stygian Water - a tool they could make using Perdo vis mixed with sulfur. The power of the telechines is such that a single one of them could use this vis to produce poison enough to kill ten thousand men, which they can spread with control over storms. Further, anyone who looks upon the true face of a telechine will due - and the telechines are such skilled shapeshifters that they can shift their face to its natural shape for just a moment, striking only one person among a group. Those who descend from the telechines are immensely dexterous, and also usually have the power to command the waters to some extent. However, they are all hated by the Olympian fae.

Now, Phorcys. Phorcys was the Lord of the Barren Sea before Poseidon took it. Men sacrificed to him as the God of Death in the Sea and the Father of Sea Monsters, but Phorcys was never very responsive and so his worship died when the faerie gods began to meddle more openly. You can still, rarely, find a ruined temple of Phorcys in the Mediterranean, and magi could theoretically summon one of his Aspects. Another way to summon one would be to automatically generate it by destroying Dogger Bank in order to render much of the North Sea sterile. (Such an avatar would likely be friendly, for the same reason that an avatar of a bee spirit would likely be friendly to anyone who made a gigantic flower.) Phorcys' Aspects have command over water in all its forms, can create water elementals and so on.

Now, all of this has not solved the vis problem. Vis tends to happen in auras, which we're still needing to bring in. There are three main ways to bring in vis. First, trade for it, though vis is quite valuable and you have little to exchange for it on the island, save perhaps your services. Secnd, you might go hunting for vis in the ocean - especially its depths, which are ill-explored at best, though you'll have to figure out how to survive on the sea floor. Lastly, you can bring in faeries. Faeries are trouble, but they are made of vis, and the most potent can create Faerie auras whole cloth - which, you know, make for a good second best compared to Magic ones. Plus, some faeries know how to distil vis.

The book spends two and a half pages describing a major faerie you might run into: Manannan mac Lir, sometimes called the god of the Isle of Man, who was the Irish god of the sea and sailors, insofar as the Irish gods had portfolios. When Saint Patrick cast him out from the Isle of Man, he set up on the Isle of Arran, though he has long since withdrawn to the Faerie realm. However, the magi of Arran can show you how to get to Tir Tairngire or to Emain Ablach, where the god lives now. Manannan is extremely powerful, and can assume any shape he likes. However, he can never enter the Dominion by any means. He can, however, send illusions to almost anywhere, may sense anything that happens in his domain, may turn woodchips into illusory fleets, can ensure that two people never meet again, kill someone with a single blow of his sword, control ships and objects in the sea, turn into fog, tide or thunder and of course he's an insane fighter. This isn't even getting into his collection of magic items. Besides his sword, he has a breastplate that is nearly impossible to pierce, a ship that can go as fast as he likes despite ill winds, a horse that can walk on water and go as fast as the wind, a cloak that changes color, becomes invisible, hides in fog or renders two people unable to meet again, a bag of crane skin containing the vis of many dead Irish gods, which can grant powers to those who carry them, a cup that shatters when a drinker tells a lie and possibly a helmet of invisibility.

Now, we have our island, but we have helpfully built a boundary around it which we can use for the creation of wards. Besides the obvious wards against spirits or demons, you can make a ward to ensure rain does not fall save for when you want it to. spells to hide the island, spells to command the beasts of the island or see through their eyes, spells to command the trees to fight, and so on. You can set up all kinds of defenses for your island.

We've been assuming you'd use the North Sea. After all, the place is comparatively shallow - at the Dogger Bank and southern North Sea, barely 30 paces deep. Of course, the waves do get bigger in the storms, but you can deal with waves easily, yes? Plus, the local kingdoms make good neighbors - they're weak navally compared to the Mediterranean kingdoms, and they lack the infrastructure to make modern fleets. This is mainly because land war is more common, the sea trade is less well developed and the kings need to spend more time and money keeping the nobles in line.

You may well want to recruit a local noble to be the king of your island. You could pick a peasant, but that's harder to sell - any king will have to prove themself, but base blood makes it much harder. You might pick Frederick II, the Holy Roman Emperor, who would likely send a governor or grant self-governance, but would attract Church enemies. You could go for Isabella II, Queen of Jerusalem, who is seven years old and very distant, and would likely require only funding sent to the Crusades. This would have the added benefit of making the Church happy to protect you politically. You might pick Philip Augustus of France - he is, after all, the great power player of Europe these days and you'll have to somehow deal with him anyway. He'd probably pick a son, perhaps the young (and possibly the bastard) PHilip Hurepel. Richard, Duke of Cornwall, is still a teenager but quite intelligent and, according to history, will become the richest, most cunning politician of Western Europe. His brother, King Henry of England, is fickle, but he is an excellent administrator and very patient for a Plantagenet. History shows that he will eventually buy the title of Holy Roman Emperor.

Valdemar II, the King of Denmark, is an expansionist and crusader, and he might be convinced to stop his conquests - a decision that, in history, he makes after he is kidnapped in 1223. On the other hand, magical aid might just make him more ambitious. Certainly, if he is not king, he will likely try to get involved if the kingdom seems weak or goes to war. William Longespee, Earl of Salisbury, is a bastard son of Henry II - who praised him above Richard the Lionheart. He is loyal, skilled and wealthy, and his mother is immensely powerful politically - she's the wife of the Earl of Norfolk. However, he might lead to English problems, as he is the hated rival of Peter de Roches, who has much power in England. Patrick, Count of Dunbar, claims descent from Duncan Bad Blooded, the king before Macbeth, and believes he should rule Scotland, but no one else cares. His experience and power might make him an excellent king. And then, of course, there's Jon Haraldsson, Moramor of Caithness and Earl of Orkney, who holds land from both the kings of Scotland and Norway. He's quite beloved, though in 1222 he will be implicated in the burning of a bishop, who might be a faerie and who was burned to death in hustory after demanding a tax of butter rather than coin or meat.

Technically, you needn't have a king - you could get an independent count or prince. That won't require a papal coronation, but the ruler will hgave less magic resistance...and also much less diplomatic prestige. You need a leader who can at least nominally deal with your neighbors.

Next time: Supernatural Problems

  • Locked thread