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May 27, 2013

Yet where is that woman now? Tell me, in what heave does she reside? None of them. Because no God bothered to listen or care. If that is what you think it means to be a God, then you and all your teachings are welcome to do as that poor women did. And vanish from these realms forever.
Well, there are no versions of MAID that do that setting, but there is a version made by Ewen Clueny, called Retail Magic, that tries to be fantasy Clerks. Not the good films, the sort-of-ok-really-only-for-the-fans-I-liked-it-but-I-know-it-isn't-for-everyone animated series of Clerks.


Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.

Covok posted:

Well, there are no versions of MAID that do that setting, but there is a version made by Ewen Clueny, called Retail Magic, that tries to be fantasy Clerks. Not the good films, the sort-of-ok-really-only-for-the-fans-I-liked-it-but-I-know-it-isn't-for-everyone animated series of Clerks.

Aw come on, I was planning to cover the Clerks: Animated Series RPG next April.

Jan 7, 2015

theironjef posted:

Ooh, could it also be way too long and complicated? Bonus points if it's like 400 pages and 100 of those are just line item descriptions of how each type of maid feels about each type of other white wolf mythos whatever.

Don't forget the lenghty metaphysical explanation about how maids become weaker when not wearing full, undamaged maid clothes. Or the obligatory claim that Rasputin was totally a maid.

And I've just now realized that Stress Explosion makes perfect sense in the World of Darknes.

Covok posted:

Well, there are no versions of MAID that do that setting, but there is a version made by Ewen Clueny, called Retail Magic, that tries to be fantasy Clerks. Not the good films, the sort-of-ok-really-only-for-the-fans-I-liked-it-but-I-know-it-isn't-for-everyone animated series of Clerks.

There might also be a bit of Recettear in this one.

Mazes & Minotaurs - Creature Compendium

M&M's Bestiary analogue is a fun little thing. You've got your Greek monsters (except for Scylla, Charybdis and Echidna), a crapload of animal/man hybrids, normal animals, stronger magic/hyperborean version of said normal animals and several renamed classic D&D monsters. Let's tackle the more interesting/silly ones (so no classic Greek critter aside from variants) one letter at a time!

Scattered throughout the book are various "fan letters", which mostly consist of people either complaining about monster designs and names or questioning why a monster isn't playable.

Also introduced with some monsters are new special abilities, like Multiple Arms or being able to cast Elemental spells from a certain element. A bit weird how this wasn't added in the Maze Masters Guide for convenience.


    Abominathol: Hey, it's a Yeti.
    Argusoid: Giants whose entire body is covered in eyes. Heavily based on Argus Panoptes aka Argos.
    Arimaspian: Imagine if the huns or dothraki had only one eye.
    Atlantean Noble: Skilled combat sorcerers and huge assholes, because...
    Atlantean War Slave: ... their workforce and soldiers consist of prisoners turned into mindless slaves.


    Bapharon: Hey, it's a super-sized Creature of the Black Lagoon.
    Black Stalker: A sneaky humanoid creature that just so happens to have rock-hard skin.
    Boarman: OD&D-style orcs.
    Bucentaur: Basically a bulltaur.


    Carnivorous Cloud: A floating, fluffy fungus with teeth. Thankfully incapable of attacking anything on ground level.
    Centaurs: Aside from the vanilla centaur, we get several variants, including brutaurs (cannibals), centaurides (the pacifist females), Chironian centaurs (bardic sages), sagittarian (elite warrior caste) and sataurs (insane satyr hybrids).
    Charont: Gaunt, owl-headed wraiths carrying the Hammer of Hades, which allows these insubstantial creatures to hurt corporeal opponents.
    Crawling Aberration: A "giant polypus being vaguely looking like a cross between a murena and a medusa". It's a generic Lovecraftian nightmare.
    Cyclops: These come in two sizes (Gigantic and Lesser), with the former one having a Horned variety that has the exact same stats, but is more Harryhausen-flavored.


    Derros: Derros in D&D are crazy mad scientists, using stuff like flamethrowers and giant mechanical spiders.
    Derros Warcraft: The above-mentioned giant mechanical spider.
    Dichotomian: Bald dudes with one completely black and one completely white half (like those two aliens from that Star Trek TOS episode). They have a split personality, with the peaceful white half being active at day and the murderous black half rocking the night.
    Dragon: We don't get the whole laundry list of Mettalic/Chromiatic/whatever dragons here, but the game does hint at the various age groups, as this is the only creature whose stat block lists attribute ranges


Nothing too fancy here.


Floating Eye: Oh hi, Beholder.


    God-Shadow: Apparently, the gods are so powerful that their shadows sometimes gain sentience and roam the lands of the mortals. They are insubstantial, but can fry people with energy bolts.
    Grotesk: A giant head with arms.


    Hellephaunt: A pissed-off, armored elephant that can shoot fire from its trunk.
    Hooded Horror: Psychic critters with a big eye where their head should be.
    Hyenakin: Hey, it's a gnoll.


Nothing too out of the ordinary here.


    Megalopodoi: Hey, it's Bigfoot.
    Minotaur: This being called Mazes & Minotaurs, there are obviously a crapload of minotaur variants. You've got bigger minotaurs, faster minotaurs, stronger minotaurs, psychic minotaurs, fire-breathing minotaurs, two-headed minotaurs and that bronze statue from that one Harryhausen flick. The strangest minotaur variants are the Gorgotaur (a Large minotaur with hooves for hands) and the Impostaur (just a dude with a mask)


No monster starts with a N.


    Ogre: I'm dissappinted this one doesn't have a new name.
    Onocentaur: Aka konkeytaur aka asstaur.
    Orkoi: A more contemporary orc than the boarman.
    Orcycter: Aardvarkmen, a formerly proud warrior race now living as scavengers *nudge nudge*


Pegataur: It's a centaur with wings. Now that would be pretty OP as a playable class.


Rhinotaur: Well, you probably get the idea.


    Salamander: Just like with the ogre, this D&D fellow keeps is normal name.
    Satyr: Notable variants include Calibans (oh hi, Calibos) and Silene (old hippies)
    Selenite: Silver-skinned moon exiles who dream of overthrowing the Lunar Oligarchy, which is a bit hard to accomplish as they loathe sunlight.
    Serpent Man: Another D&D critter.
    Seven-Mawed Thing: I think this is supposed to be a Graboid.
    Son of Cecropos: A rare male lamia (aka a dude with a snake body instead of legs)
    Son of Dagon: Your sahuagin expy.
    Stygian Lord: Badass necromancers with vampiric and psychic powers. They always keep some skeletons and Stygian Hounds (aka skeleton dogs) around.
    Sylvan: Why are there elves in my Ancient Greek epic?
    Swamp Horror: Oh hi, Swamp Thing.


    Tragic Floating Head: OMG it's Zardoz! Then again, this creature supposedly made its first appearance one year before the movie, so your guess is as good as mine. But always remember that the spear is good.
    Triclope: You get the idea.
    Troglodyte: Well, I guess that name didn't need changing.
    Trolith: A troll.

And that's all the interesting ones. Seems to have a much higher amount of humanoid creatures compared to D&D, but that's fine too. Converting to D&D is not straightforward, but certainly doable.

Next Time: Optional rules!

Doresh fucked around with this message at 21:31 on May 21, 2015

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 5, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!

Doresh posted:

This is just what the Shin Megami Tensei series is doing (there are like 5 different versions of the Devil - some of which are on opposing sides in the main series' metaplot), except in dumb.

Well, it's a classic D&Dism where you have the medusa/gorgon, demon/daemon, oni/ogre mage, etc. Got to fill up those monstrous compendiums somehow...

Apr 22, 2014


Doresh posted:

the Impostaur (just a dude with a mask)

That is an awful, awful pun.

Feb 28, 2009

Alien Rope Burn posted:

Well, it's a classic D&Dism where you have the medusa/gorgon, demon/daemon, oni/ogre mage, etc. Got to fill up those monstrous compendiums somehow...

It's more that the modern interpretation of 'the devil' draws from a number of separate sources, which the MegaTen guys decided to make into individual entities. So Lucifer, Satan, Beelzebub, etc all get to be their own entities based loosely off their actual appearances in myth/theology.

Modern religion has a real odd understanding of its sources, basically.

Dec 19, 2012
Princess: the Hopeful
Chapter 2 - Coronation, Part 1: This is where the Magic happens

So after all that fluff, we finally get into making things relevant to the game. It's merely a 15 Step process. :stonk:

To be fair, it's only a few more steps than most WoD games (just pulled up Demon for example and it has 9, Strix Chronicles clocks in at 7). For the first time in a while while making this post, I've opened a WoD book to compare Princess to it. Color me surprised at Chapter 1 always being a fluff chapter. That being said, Chapter 1 tends to actually focus on the key aspects of that splat (Demon focues on the GM, Angels and the Fall; Vampire focuses on Clans, Covenants and what it means to be a Vampire). PtH instead spends a relatively large amount of time talking about backstory and what makes a Princess rather than spending more time talking about a Princess's trials and tribulations, the moral dilemas that may come up in their campaign against darkness and so forth.

How to build a Princess
Step 1: The Story Seed - Decide what the game is about (i.e. the plot). This isn't a step I've ever seen in any other WoD game. It's the step that may as well be one of the Zero steps that's done by the person running the game beforehand.

Step 2: Character Concept - The standard Step 1.


The second step is to try and distil your character down into a single concept. You want something that you can easily hold in your head, this concept will serve as the anchoring centre to your character. When you start adding details later it should be quick and straight forward to ask yourself “does this detail
strengthen my character concept?”
A good character concept focuses on who your character is. Is your character’s self-identity defined by her mundane side, her supernatural side, or a balance of both. Because Princesses invest so much of themselves in their work it is often hard to separate who a Princess is from what she does, but try to cut out the specifics and drill down to the core of your concept. Consider a “young politician” instead of the “student president.”
Character’s often change during character creation as ideas bounce around, and once play starts circumstances can change fast. It’s good to have a little flexibility in your core concept.

Step 3: Fleshing it out - Essentially Step 2b.


Are you playing a Prince or a Princess? Does your character fight evil in a frilly sailor fuku or spandex and a cape?
Now that you have your core character concept you can add everything else: Appearance, personality, background, family, friendships and perhaps romances. In short, it’s time to write your character as a character rather than a collection of attributes and a list of magical powers.
Some players can write for pages while others will prefer a few paragraphs. There’s no right or wrong answer, except that it never hurts to discuss things with your group and try and make sure everyone’s style fits together nicely.
Why are these two steps separated? I understand that Step 3 follows from 2, but it's not as though they can't be the same step for simplicity's sake.

Step 4: Virtue, Vice, Aspirations and Dreams - Hopeful is banned as a Virtue since every Princess has it and that's the core of the splat, so it's already prominent. Five Aspirations and Dreams are suggested with at least two Dreams. Dreams are a special form of Aspiration for Princesses that'll be explained in the next post.

Step 5: Attributes - The standard Step 2. 5/4/3 Standard.
Step 6: Skills - Standard Step 3. 11/7/4 Standard.
Step 7: Skill Specialties - Standard 4. Pick three. Normal.

Step 8: Add a Calling and a Transformed Attribute - The first part of the typical "Add _____ template."
Calling is the X splat of Princess and represents the way the Princess brings Hope into the world. They'll be explained in greater detail in another post. Each Calling also has two Attributes the player can chose from to get a free Transformed Attribute dot. Transformed stuff will also be explained as this goes on, but as far as I can tell it's a bit disparate and spread out. Typical for White Wolf I guess.
List of Callings (list taken straight from the book):
  • Champion: Defenders of the weak and helpless. (Strength or Resolve)
  • Grace: Elegant and noble, the voices and diplomats of the Reborn. (Presence or Composure)
  • Mender: Those who take wounded flesh and wounded hearts and make them whole. (Intelligence
    or Stamina)
  • Seeker: Hunters of truth, banishers of lies, revealers of the hidden. (Intelligence or Wits)
  • Troubadour: Artists and exemplars who inspire greatness in others. (Presence or Dexterity)
Step 9: Add a Queen - The Queens act as mentors for Princesses and help define a Princess's philosophy. They also have a Favored Invocation that gets a unique enhancement.
List of Queens (as the list of Callings)
  • Clubs: The Queen of Wilds leads the coven of Princesses who seek to live in harmony with the
  • Diamonds: The Queen of Lights leads the conclave of progressive-minded Princesses who believe
    in constantly adapting and refining the Kingdom’s techniques.
  • Hearts: The Queen among Queens leads the court of Princesses who focus on communities, and
    their place within society, first and foremost.
  • Spades: The Queen of Knaves leads a confederacy of winking scoundrels and good-hearted rogues
    who believe the best application of the rules is to break them.
  • Swords: The Queen of Heroines leads the company of Princesses who believe that inner strength
    and passion should always light the way
Just like most Y splats, it's possible to choose none but it's said to be rare for Princesses. Princesses can also choose from the Twilight Queens, but those who follow those Queens essentially are of an Antagonist faction like the Seers or the Pure.

A sidebar (more like box since the book is single column instead of the double that's standard to WoD books) gives players a better idea of how to choose their Queen


Choosing a Queen
It is rare for a Princess to ever agree with her Queen on every single point, and it is almost universal for a Princess to have some affinity for the teachings of several Queens. This can make it hard for Princesses (and players) to know which Court is right for them. Should a naturalist join the court of Diamonds with her fellow women of science, or the court of Clubs with her fellow nature lovers? In all likelihood such a Princess will show her shared ideals by acquiring both the Acqua and Legno Invocations, but the player still has to decide which Queen goes on the top of the character sheet. The answer is which Queen shares her approach to making a brighter tomorrow:
• If you believe that self discovery and mutual understanding brings people together in harmony you will always be welcome in the court of Clubs.
• If you believe that clear and careful thought will lead us to a better tomorrow you’ll find minds that think alike in the court of Diamonds.
• If you believe that a Princess’ role is to build and lead communities into the light then you have a place in the court of Hearts.
• If you believe that the world’s ills are best solved outside of any boxes then you’ll fit right in at the court of Spades.
• If you believe that the world needs individual heroes led by all consuming passion then you can proudly join the court of Swords.
The Twilight Queens also have an approach.
• If you believe that the Darkness must be destroyed no matter what it takes you are ready to enlist in the armies of Storms.
• If you believe that being a Princess makes you the most important and special person in the world, and a utopia is just going to happen because you’re around then consider the Queen of Mirrors.
• Finally the Queen of Tears would say that if you believe in protecting your people no matter the cost, bring them to Alhambra where they will be safe. Yet remember that of all the Queens only the Lady of Alhambra rules a kingdom that survives to this day. She asks, and offers, more than any other Queen. A Princess who believes in protecting her people no matter what should still think if she wishes to be a part of Alhambra and if not she should choose another Queen or perhaps become a Courtless Lacrima specialist.
Step 10: Add Invocations - There are eight different categories of Invocations that players can choose from. Players start off with three dots to allocate with one needing to go into their Queen's favored Invocation. If they have no Queen (called Courtless [!?]), then they can just drop the dots anywhere. Invocations, as far as I can tell, don't get explained individually in their own section. Their either explained with their associated Queen or as a whole in their section.

Step 11: Add Charms - Charms are basically the actual tricks and spells that a Princess can do. There are 10 categories of these and players get 5 dots. Two of those dots must go into their Calling's three favored Charm families. Charms are purchased individually akin to Changeling, but rather than being a chain, it's a family (so multiples 1s, 2s, etc), and taking a Two dot Charm in a family requires having a one dot charm in that same family. Upgrades to that Charm cost a single Charm dot. Alternatively, players can trade, at most, one Charm dot for one Transformed Attribute dot or 3 Transformed Skills dots

Step 12: Add Inner Light - "A Princess’ magic shines out of her soul to illuminate the world. The raw power of her hopes and feelings is represented by her Inner Light."
Start with 1. Spend 5 Merit dots to get another. Spend the other 5 to get the third.
Step 13: Add Wisps - The resource stat. Wisps were explained in the previous chapter because I skipped over it. They're a measure of the manifestation of a Princess's emotional and magical energy.
Step 14: Add Belief - The morality stat. Will be explained in greater detail next post.
Step 15: Add Merits - "As a supernatural being a Princess is given three merit dots to spend at charachter creation, for a total of ten merit sdots." Two typos

And that's Character generation! Not too different from what standard WoD char gen might be like. There is no quick reference however. Maybe I expect too much.

Experience costs
Princess has the standard costs for things: 4 per Mundane Attribute Dot, 2 per Mundane Skill dot, 1 per Merit dot, and 5 per power stat dot. For the other things: Transformed Attribute and Stat dots cost one less than their Mundane counterparts and it costs another XP to convert Transformed dots to Mundane. Affinity Charms costs 1 per dot. Non-Affinity Charms cost the same but with a 1 XP surcharge. Charm upgrades cost 1 XP. Favored Invocation costs 2 per dot and the others cost 3 per. Belief is actually more expensive compared to the two splats I've checked at 3 per dot. Finally, Willpower that's sacrificed can be rebought at 1 per dot.

This was another shorter post, but it's on the level of Cytheria's size which I guess is as fine a benchmark as any for post about WoD fangames.
Next Post: Princess Traits. And maybe some pretty pictures to doll the post up since this one was kinda bland.

Nov 8, 2009

I love the potoo,
and the potoo loves you.
Genius: The Transgression, Storytelling

We're out of the crunch and into Genius' chapter on storytelling and antagonists.

Mad science is an old cliche, a time-honored idea that traces its lineage back well before the Victorian era that crystallized the mad scientist in the public imagination. Genius incorporates into its ideas old myths of Prometheus, the serpent in the Garden of Eden, and Odin hanging himself from the World Tree: the pursuit of forbidden knowledge, the transgression against established morality and beliefs because you think you know better. In the World of Darkness, Geniuses epitomize those with the power to do just that.

Genius encourages more player initiative than usual in the World of Darkness, thematically emphasizing the mad scientists as the ones who act and push against the boundaries of established knowledge and ethics. Give the player characters power and see what they do with it. The fundamental power of the Inspired is to make the impossible, the implausible, and the merely unlikely real, at least for a time.

Genius posted:

Science has always horrified us. Today it's the nightmarish specter of misapplied genetic engineering, the real
possibility of a surveillance state, and the proliferation of psychiatric medication. Fifty years ago it was
nuclear Armageddon, sociology that reinforced or subverted the racial and sexual standards of the time, and
the mysterious power of hypnosis. A century ago we feared surgery, chemical annihilation from poison gas,
and the yawning gulfs revealed by relativity and quantum mechanics. And always, always, horror comes not
just from the technology―the killing bomb, the all-seeing eye of surveillance―but from the knowledge itself.
Knowing hurts. We project not just our fears into the unknown, but our hopes and dreams, and to see those
dark places where we left our fancies revealed can cut like a knife. Everything we learn is a betrayal of what
someone hoped for.

There's a famous saying about the relationship between power and corruption. Genius encourages giving that ball to the players and seeing what they envision and unleash.

The Dark Mechanical is Genius' particular take on the World of Darkness, how it's different, darker than our own. In Genius, technology is a genie we've never quite put back in the bottle. We can control it to a degree, use it to serve our purposes in small ways, but we can't stop or escape it. Wires take over our civilization like kudzu, electrical and telegraph and fiber-optic and who knows what else. Listen to the ancient radio of your grandfather's, still producing better sound than your latest iWhatever. You don't see the stars much anymore, obscured by light pollution from our ever-present attempts to beat back the dark. Even out in the open ocean, far away from any human life or civilization, a few of the stars glittering in the sky are made of aluminum.

Genius posted:

The Dark Mechanical reflects the inner state of the genius. Is a genius a mortal in charge of the higherdimensional
mathematics that dance in her brain? Or is she a knot of Uttermost Reality slumming it in the
physical world, taking up residence in a human mind like a virus invades a cell? Is humanity in charge of the
things it creates―are humans demiurges, creating the new―or are they thralls to an existing and alien order,
one that spreads and lives and grows on its own, and for which humans only opened the gates? The genius,
like every human alive today, finds her sense of control and normality slipping, as the world transforms itself
into something more terrifying, or more beautiful, than she can possibly imagine.

Mania isn't something that just exists as points, and it's everywhere. Technology doesn't quite operate as it should, and people see glimpses of mad science everywhere. That car rusting in front of an abandoned house hasn't moved in decades, but turn a knob on the dashboard and you'll hear radio broadcasts from the other side of the world. The fridge in the school cafeteria never seems to run out of food, even though the lunch ladies haven't used it in years. Out of curiosity you measured it with a ruler. It's a quarter of an inch wider on the inside than the door, yet the door fits perfectly. There's a Nintendo 64 in the children's section of the public library, kids in the after-school program spend hours upon hours trying to beat the evil witch. But there's a weird graphics glitch: the witch doesn't look like she should, and in fact looks like the librarian. She claims it's just a prank, but she never wants to talk about it or who did it. And so on and so forth.

Being Inspired is not as easy to live with as one might think. Geniuses are fundamentally insane, their brains are wired differently. The human brain is one of the best pattern-recognizing devices ever made - look at the whole idea of star constellations in the night sky. We see things, make connections informed by our education. See a pin drop, gravity did it. See a red piece of fruit candy, it's cherry or strawberry. Geniuses don't quite make these connections, or make other ones that sane people don't. What is self-evident and patently obvious to a Genius is madness to a mortal. Perhaps beautiful, perhaps terrifying, but when you apologize for getting in late to work because of a traffic accident and your coworker off-handedly says it's no trouble, the local animal shelter has been generating too much phlogiston after rescuing a bunch of cats from a hoarder, without explanation and acting like you should instantly grasp why that would have caused an accident, you realize that these people don't quite live in the same world that you do.

Genius posted:

As the Storyteller, you need to play up this unique form of Mania. Geniuses form connections with things that
aren't "really" there for regular people. Their entire essence screams to reduce reality to a handful of elegant
equations that are obviously, self-evidently true. The Peerage exists almost entirely to fight this tendency,
because once a genius believes he's figured it out, he's mad. The light eats out the back of his eyes and he'll
probably never see straight again.

And geniuses live with this fear every day, an aspect any Storyteller should emphasize. The characters should
never entirely be sure that they see what is or what they want to see. "Technobabble" is a playful name the
peers use to downplay a terrifying phenomenon that all geniuses eventually experience. Talking with regular
mortals can be a painful experience for geniuses, as the mask of sanity slips. A Storyteller can even use
mundane events―buying a new stereo system, going to a PTA meeting―to demonstrate this tendency of the
Inspired to "slip," just a little: turns of phrase that don't make sense, explanations that link things that do not
connect, and other acts of Jabir.

The difference between a genius and a normal insane individual is that the genius can fight her madness. She can feel the alien energy of Inspiration in her brain, twisting what she used to know and believe, and she can struggle to dismiss the lunatic thoughts in her mind, or accept them only as knowing insanity that can be used. If she never stops fighting Inspiration, will probably end up killing her as her brain tears itself apart, unable to reconcile the two halves of the genius' mind. Even if she gives in, in an ecstatic spree of release, that only brings another struggle as she fights to escape being completely consumed by Inspiration.

And the real twist of the knife is that no one will ever think she's something beyond a garden-variety crazy person. Therein lies one of the great personal horrors of being a genius. The Inspired aren't like vampires or mages or werewolves. They don't enforce any sort of masquerade to keep their existence secret from mortals because the nature of their powers does that job plenty well. The world of science won't recognize or validate the Inspired if they level New York City with a giant robot because none of the principles by which the robot worked can be reproduced. Its existence and miraculous construction will be dismissed and debunked. All the brilliant ideas in your mind? All the wonders you can build and grand visions you have? The only people who will ever think you're anything but a madman are your fellow Inspired. The simple quest for validation, for people to say "Yes, I believe you" is one of the most common and insidious roads to terrible transgressions and oftentimes Illumination.

The Peerage exists to fill this gap, founded a long time ago by geniuses who realized that loneliness and utter insanity - unmada and Illumination - go hand in hand. That's not to say they're benevolent by any stretch of the imagination, but a federation of mad scientists willing to slap you across the face then have tea over discussions of orgone and the Akashic Records is a more valuable service to keeping you sane than you might think. Still, the name implies an aristocracy with good reason. The Peerage have no desire to rule over mankind or guide it in secret - Lemuria was the world champion at herding those cats and look how well it worked out for them - but see themselves oftentimes as humanity's guardians and overseers. Distant, cold, and more than a little crazy, but Obligation is an equally cold measure of tying you back to a humanity you no longer belong to. No longer belong to, and probably can't help in any but the smallest of ways. Again, have a look at Lemuria for those who think they can use mad science to save humanity. No, seriously, have a look. Genius encourages the players to actively question the Peerage and what they'd lose and gain by jumping ship to Lemuria or simply going rogue.

Running out of time, so next time more storytelling.

Jan 7, 2015

Crasical posted:

That is an awful, awful pun.

Mission accomplished, I'd say. Also, this is what he looks like:

Every picture in every book has such a witty comment. Also, this is totally going to be my next D&D barbarian.

Alien Rope Burn posted:

Well, it's a classic D&Dism where you have the medusa/gorgon, demon/daemon, oni/ogre mage, etc. Got to fill up those monstrous compendiums somehow...

Man, how could I forget that? I guess you'll sooner or later run out of names with such a long-running game.

Dulkor posted:

It's more that the modern interpretation of 'the devil' draws from a number of separate sources, which the MegaTen guys decided to make into individual entities. So Lucifer, Satan, Beelzebub, etc all get to be their own entities based loosely off their actual appearances in myth/theology.

Modern religion has a real odd understanding of its sources, basically.

And it educates people on more obscure names like "Helel", just in case anyone would want to start a super secret Satanist cult for playing Shin: The MegaTening (or a Pokemon Tabletop United hack).

Xelkelvos posted:

List of Callings (list taken straight from the book):
  • Champion: Defenders of the weak and helpless. (Strength or Resolve)
  • Grace: Elegant and noble, the voices and diplomats of the Reborn. (Presence or Composure)
  • Mender: Those who take wounded flesh and wounded hearts and make them whole. (Intelligence
    or Stamina)
  • Seeker: Hunters of truth, banishers of lies, revealers of the hidden. (Intelligence or Wits)
  • Troubadour: Artists and exemplars who inspire greatness in others. (Presence or Dexterity)

Does that make Edward Snowden a Prince?

I also don't quite see those Y splats working for magical girls. Going by their toku DNA (though only Pretty Cure is really big in terms of crossovers), they spend most of their time with their own group, but are always happy to team up for jolly cooperation in a time of crisis. And any kind of outside authority seems to be rather distant and irrelevant outside of exposition.

Then again, thou shalt never deviate from the standard WoD formula.

Mazes & Minotaurs Compendium

The last and shortest book in the line, with all sorts of optional rules for added complexity. It's essentially their version of Unearthed Arcana. In fact the OM&M version of this book was called the Unveiled Addenda.

Character Options

First order of business are the Background Talents for out-of-combat situations (with th exception of the Wrestler talent, which does do something in combat). These describe a PC's education and include stuff like Acrobat, Healer or Tactician. They don't have ranks or anything, and can either grant the PC a 5e-style advantage on related rolls, or just give him extensive knowledge about the subject at hand. Every PC has 2 of these except for Nymphs, who only have the Musician talent (the price they have to pay for being able to go full on guerilla in their home turf).
While nowhere near as detailed as a proper skill system, it gives ever PC his own flavor and allows the GM to gauge who might know what.

Next up are alternate warrior classes:


Nothing too fancy, just a male version of the Alternate Amazon below that can only specialize in bows.


A rare kind of soldier (the Greek weren't really that big into cavalry), these guys' class abilities grant them increased Initiative, Defense Class and Danger Evasion while on horse (the latter bonus being shared by mount and rider). They also start out with an especially good battle horse.
Overall, these guys - along with the Centaur - are probably the most limited warrior class around, as there are just a lot of situations where horses only get in the way, especially when the standard mode of travel is a galley.

Alternate Amazons

Already mentioned when I tackled the core classes, these are the more realistic amazons, trading their chainmail bikini effect for an Initiative bonus and being able to specialize (aka getting a damage bonus) into one of 4 weapons: sword, spear, bow or javelin.
Standard and Alternate Amazons can co-exist in the same game, with the standard ones having Artemis as their patron, while the alternate badass amazons whorship Athena.

Divine Agents

All PCs eventually end up being favored by the pantheon, but some go the extra mile and become a divine agent, a champion of their chosen god. This gives them some extra swag at the cost of becoming their god's servant for life.

To qualify as a divine agent, one must have a score of at least 18 in Luck and another attribute depending on the god in question, which makes it very unlikely to start the game as a divine agent.

Upon becoming a divine agent, the PC gains 3 so called divine boons, and one additional after every level. So the sooner you start, the better.

Divine boons come in 3 flavors:

  • Mythic Attributes: Adds +2 to one of the attributes favored by the god, which can push already maxed attributes to 21, in addition to the one attribute a PC can push that high on his own. Naturally, these don't stack, so every favored attribute can only be boosted once.
  • Divine Call: This one grants you one guaranteed Divine Intervention (like the Priest spell of the same name). This can even be used by unconscious or dying characters, making this pretty handy to keep around.
  • Mythic Items: If there's one non-artifact item you really, really want, you can ask your patron god to give it to you (if the item in question is associated with the god, that is).

Aside from granting divine agent status, times of crisis can cause a god to give a character a conditional boon, a single mythic item they can keep as long as they fullfill a certain task or quest. This can even happen to characters who don't qualify as a potential divine agent.

Naturally, these benefits come with a big drawback: Should a divine agent ever anger his god, he'll permanently lose one of his boons. Ifhe has already lost all of them, he'll get kicked out of divine agent status with a divine curse that permanently reduces his Luck score by a whopping 2d6.
After being fired this way, any further provocations will be answered with some divine smiting, dealing the character's level in d6 damage. Ouch.

Combat Options

This includes optional rules for bashing (more like tripping), disarming, knife throwing, staff fighting, mounted archery and net fighting. Of special note is the Double Attack, which allows a warrior to split his melee bonus in half to attack two different opponents in the same round. Also included are finally some wrestling rules for choking people and monsters to death, like Herakles used to do.

The core book doesn't have any rules for critical hits and fumbles, but the Compendium introuces them under the Homeric Combat rules that largely only apply to PCs. Crits under this system happen everything a PC exceeds his target's Defense Class by at least 10, and Fumbles happen on a natural 1 unless the PC has a Luck of at least 13, which prevents Fumbles from ever happening (aka most PCs won't ever fumble).

The exact effect is determined on one of 4 tables (melee/ranged crit/fumble). The effects largely consist of temporary penalties to attack or defense, with critical hits having a chance to deal aditional dice of damage or killing the target instantly and fumbles having a chance to break the weapon or hurt the fumbler.

Equipment rules are also expaned upon, with Beotian helmets, peltast shields and linothorax offering cheaper and lighter alternatives to the standard helmet, shield and breastplate, albeit with reduced protection (+1 instead of +2). The linothorax has the added advantage of not getting in the way of the Amazon's and Barbarian's chainmail bikini ability. The linothorax' +1 defense doesn't stack with the ability's bonus, it just applies in situations where the ability doesn't, aka missile and surprise attacks.

Another optional rule makes smaller targets more dangerous by having helmets and breastplates not add their defense bonus depending on the size difference. After all, if the enemy only reaches up to your knee, all the breastplates in the world won't really do anything.

Rounding up this chapter are rules to better differentiate spears and javelins, and some chariot rules.

Magic Options

This chapter adds two new magician classes and new spells for the Elementalist:


The animal control half of the D&D Druid. These guys can speak and tame animals. Their spells allow them to sooth, call and command beasts and monsters.


The wildshape half of the D&D Druid. They can take on the appearance of another human or transform into a creature of the Folk or Beast type. Monsters, Spirits or Animates are right out the question because those are a bit unnatural.
Each Shapeshifter has a limited repertoire of up to 5 nonhuman forms they can take. Changing their form grants them any bonuses related to their new size and all of that form's abilities that aren't supernatural or magical in nature.
Their spells allow them to turn back into their original form (important for speedy Power Point recovery), change their human appearance, gender bendering as well as turning into a medium-sized, smaller or larger form from their repertoire.

Light & Darkness

These are alternate elements for the Elementalist class, with the typical 3 spells per element. They are more restricted than the classic elements because they can never be an Elementalist's primary element and require the proper patron deity (Apollo for Light, Hades, Persephone and other "dark" gods for Darkness).

The Light spells are Arcane Lanthorn (illuminates the caster for a nice defense buff), Aura of Helios (illuminates and blinds enemies) and Arrows of Apollo (a ranged attack that deals double damage against insubstantial targets).
The Darkness spells are Cloak of Shadows (super stealth), Eldritch Eclipse (darkens an entire area) and Wandering Shadow (pretty much the Summon Shadow ability of the D&D Shadowdancer).

Religious Options

This gives Priests some additional options to recover Power Points, including teaming up with acolytes and performing ritual sacrifices.

Also featured here are rules for Priests from gods outside the pantheon, including Cybele, Dionysos and Mithras. The druidic faith is also covered.

Miscellaneous Rules

This includes rules for traps and poisons (weird how they weren't in the core book, now that I think about it), as well as rules for influencing NPCs and taming beasts and monsters.

For additional NPC utility, this chapter features rules for Navigators, Physicians, Sages and Philosophers. The latter could come quite in handy if want your heroes to team up with Homer or Aristotle.

Appendix: Warfare Rules

Be it the Trojan Wars or the Battle of Thermopylae, Ancient Greek makes for some epic battles. Now here are some simple rules to run them!

Every army consists of several regiments, which make up the army's total troops. A regiment is composed of any creature from the Creature Compendium, with the exception of Monsters and Spirits. The former have to join regiments as a unique opponent (like a PC or major NPC), while the latter just don't work with armies.

Creatures in this system are abstracted into a Combat Factor which summarizes its general combat capability. To get a regiment's total Strength, just add up the Combat Factors of all included units plus whatever unique opponents have joined. This is of course easier if the entire regiment is composed of a single type of creature, but these rules make it very easy to mix-and-match your regiments (way easier than most D&D mass combat rules I've seen).

Armies generally have a Moral rating based on the general's Leadership score and some pre-battle modifiers. The exceptions are savage hordes (which don't need a general and don't care about morale) and Animates (who always fight to the death).
The Morale rating can be modified by searching for an omen (which can backfire, resulting in a morae penalty) and holding an Oscar-worthy speech.

Once the battle starts, each round (taking around 1 hour) of mass combat consists of 6 phases:

1. Strategic Phase

This is for calculating the various modifiers for that round, including Superiority (which compares the Strength of the armies, not their numbers in true 300 fashion), Moral difference,Position (like having the high ground or defending a narrow pass) and Fatigue.

Non-Horde armies can keep some of their troops in reserve, which can be handy to avoid fatigue.

2. Tactical Phase

This is where both sides decide how much risk they're willing to take (whether they turtle or charge like crazy people), on a rating from 0 to 3. This Tactical Risk is then added together into the Massacre Factor (MF), which determines how much blood and body parts are going to fly around in the next phase.

3. Resolution Phase

Here each side rolls a d20 and adds its current modifier. The higher result wins, with ties being rerolled. If an army's General as the Tactician background talent, he gets an Advantage, which is pretty handy.

Each side loses a certain percentage of its current Strength. The losing side suffers a loss of [MF x 10%], the winning side half of that aka [MF x 5%].
If the winning side beats the losing side's roll by at least 10, the winning General can either increase the enemy losses to [MF x 15%] (which at max MF can wipe out 90% of the enemy's army. Ouch.) or reduce the own losses to a negligible amount (aka no losses this time). To add insult to injury, such a clear win forces the losing General to make a Danger Evasion roll to avoid getting captured (unless the general is a NP).

The losses are equally distributed between all regmints. It is assumed that 1/2 of the losses are dead, while the other half is just wounded or otherwise incapable of fighting.

4. Heroic Phase

This is where the PCs and other unique opponents take action. First they have to check whether they wounded in battle, which simply involves comparing the enemy's army roll with their Defense Class as if it was an attack roll. A simple hit deals 1d6 damage, while having the Defense Class being beaten by at least 10 deals 2d6 damage.

After this, it's time for the PCs to earn some glory by rolling a melee attack and comparing it to the enemy's army roll. Success grants Glory points based on the enemy's Strength, with a particular good success doubling the rewards and granting a Morale bonus to the own side.

Fighting under normal combat rules is possible and in fact the main way to get rid of other unique opponents.

5. Morale Phase

Morale is checked every phase after the army's Strength is reduced to under 50% of its original value. It involves rolling equal or below the army's current Morale on a 1d10. Armies who lost their general have an effective morale of 1, unless they have a second-in-command to take his place. Failure means a complete rout, which causes a further loss of 20% in casualties, captives or deserters.

Hordes never make a Morale check and continue to fight till they auto-rout at 20% of their original Strength. Animates fight to the last automaton.

6. Retreat Phase

This is where a General can decide to retreat in an orderly manner. This is just like a rout, but the General can avoid the 20% loss with a successful Morale check.

Both sides continue to fight in this fashion until they run out of reserves.


Sieges are a lot slower than a straight up battle, so a round takes a whole day and all losses are divided by 5.
The defender gains additional bonuses based on the fortifications, while the attacker gains bonuses based on their siege engines. Running out of food and water makes the whole army fatigued and causes a cumulative 5% loss each day. Retreating is not an option for the defender, and a rout has them surrender.

Of course this comes with a comment box about wargaming grognards tearing these rules apart. Nevertheless, I quite like these rules. They're fast, furious and relatively easy to port to other systems if you can come up with a formula for the Combat Factor. It's also very easy to zoom into the action, having each regiment attack, suffer losses and take Morale checks separately.

Overall, this book comes with lots of goodies. Even if you're not interested in running M&M, the mass combat rules might be just what you've been looking for.

Next Time: Time for me to ride on the Kevin Crawford wave, with some Stars Without Number!

Doresh fucked around with this message at 07:27 on May 23, 2015

Hyper Crab Tank
Feb 10, 2014

The 16-bit retro-future of crustacean-based transportation

Dulkor posted:

It's more that the modern interpretation of 'the devil' draws from a number of separate sources, which the MegaTen guys decided to make into individual entities. So Lucifer, Satan, Beelzebub, etc all get to be their own entities based loosely off their actual appearances in myth/theology.

Interestingly, the Persona spinoff reconceptualized the various demons as expressions of concepts formed in the sea of the collective unconscious by human minds. In other words, because some humans have an image of Lucifer and some other humans have an image of Satan, and the two images don't exactly correspond, the sea of souls gives rise to both as separate entities. They exist because humans subconsciously want them to exist, and it is those humans' shared idea of what they should be that gives them their form, not because they have an independent existence of their own that predates the human understanding of them. I thought it was a pretty nice way of doing it, myself.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 5, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!
Rifts World Book Six: South America (Part 16): "This is the ship of choice for Splugorth Slavers and Blind Women Warriors."

Ships of South America

Boats! The part you've all been waiting for!

Splugorth Slaver Raider

Aka "the Alan Parsons Project".

This is a large landing hybrid hovercraft / hydrofoil. Why would you mix the two? Because it's cool, duh. It's about 200' long and can pack about 800 slaves in, and usually has about a hundred evil Atlanteans between the crew and raiding force. It has a fanciful 2500 M.DC., can go about 400 MPH as a hovercraft, but apparently has to use the hydrofoil over rough waters to only go 100 MPH, and is 40 MPH on land? Confusing. In any case, they have pulse cannon turrests that do decent damage, long-range missile launchers that can fire intercontinental torpedoes, if that's your thing, and depth charges. Oh, and it can fire 16 of those long-range missles at once, which is like 2240 damage on a successful hit. Remember wayyy back how you literally aren't allowed to dodge barrages that large from the core book? Better hope you shoot those down and roll the "they all explode!" result, PCs!

Splugorth Slaver Mothership

Not very motherly, despite looking like a giant boob.

If they Splugorth weren't badass enough unleashing small armies of intercontinental nuclear missiles at you, there's this thing, with is a giant floating doom base they have four of. None are near South America (it says so explicitly), but it gets to be in this book anyway. It has about 2000 monsters between its attack forces and crew, and 28,000 M.D.C., making it the toughest vehicle we've seen so far, and claims to be three times the size of a modern aircraft carrier, though that's mainly because it's wide and tall and not based on length. It carries eight of the rear end in a top hat raider machines we just had, too.

It has multiple batteries of long-range missiles, mini-missiles, laser turrets, torpedoes, and depth charges, all of which will do fantastic damage and murder just about anything short of a god, not even factoring in the army it can unleash. It's poised on these pillars that hold the whole thing up and would seem the best thing to attack, but there's no rules for what happens if it loses any of them. Rules!

Corsair Hydrobike

Somehow not named "Scorpion" instead.

This is a dinky little craft that goes about 60 MPH and is a really soft target for a vehicle. It runs on gasoline, yet is still somehow "surprisingly quiet". I guess that would be a surprise! It has mini-missiles (decent damage), a rocket gun (middling damage), and a laser gun (crap damage). Who builds these? It's a mystery!

Piranha Submersible Attack Boat

The future means more fins.

Apparently this is a pre-rifts design that is only in the hands of pirates and adventurers and their ilk. Columbia and the Silver River Republics (the latter not appearing in this book) really would like to take one apart for study but haven't been able to. It's pretty tough, 100' long, nearly as tough as a glitter boy, and can go 80 MPH over water and 40 MPH under water. It has a lovely rail gun and a pretty great medium-range missile launcher.

"Black Galleon" Gunboat

The Columbian ship with a French name.

This is Columbia's ship of the line, though some very rich merchants have bought them as well. They have 900 M.D.C., go around 50 MPH, are about 40'- wait.

The last boat had less M.D.C., was like a rare unreproduceable pre-rifts thing, and this ridiculously tougher at a fraction of the size? Huh. Wait, it's 40' long... and 120 tons. How the gently caress does that work? Maybe they meant 400'? Weird. If it were 40' long and 120 tons, fucker would sink like a stone swimming downward with a rocket pointed at the sky. Glub glub.

In any case, it has middling rocket auto-cannons, a medium-range rocket turret, light torpedoes, a alright laser cannon, and depth charges. Pew pew, I sunk your canoe.

Next: Just because you're an undead demon pirate doesn't mean you can't find the time to be sexy.

Alien Rope Burn fucked around with this message at 04:34 on May 26, 2015

Nov 4, 2007

zamtrios so lonely
Grimey Drawer
The Splugorth Mothership is one example of really annoying dickery with vehicle statistics--the Splugorth have multiples of these gigantic doomships and their magical murder continent is always "near South America" at the speeds things move in this game. I mean the Dragon Dreadnought was presented as special king poo poo in Atlantis with its 2100 main body MDC and so powerful that Splynncryth only allowed them to build ten, ever, on any world and it was a weapon so secret and powerful they haven't been directly deployed on Earth yet--and then we get this thing. The hovercrafts could one-shot that two-page Ewell spread and the mothership has eight of them.

So yeah, power creep.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 5, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!
Rifts World Book Six: South America (Part 17): "He always remains quiet and subdued while conducting his 'experiments,' asking questions like 'Does this hurt? Really? What about now?' (scream of pain from the victim). "

The Black Ship

Scenario Outline
By C.J. Carella and Kevin Siembieda

Despite it being called a "scenario", this is just a collection of villains. There's no adventure or even hint of an actual plot here besides "bad villains that need stopping". Unusually enough, we get a fiction chunk starting out this section.

Rifts World Book Six: South America posted:

He was most interested in finding out what sort of world had welcomed him to its bosom.

Rifts World Book Six: South America posted:

"I think fate smiles upon us Archill. Ah, I see it in your eyes. You feel the power too. Mystic energy so strong that you can taste it in the air and feel it wrap around you like a lover in the wind."

Rifts World Book Six: South America posted:

Kharkon stretched, his muscles rippling and teeth glinting in the yellow sun. A groan of ecstasy slipped from his throat like the purr of a contented cat.

Rifts World Book Six: South America posted:

The Baal-rog first mate, his supernatural muscles rippling in the morning light, repeated the command, and cracked his whip for emphasis.

Uh what the gently caress

So there's a evil demon pirate that's shown up through a rift, and he might be a little sexy.

Nightmare Island

So, this is the headquarters for a fleet of demonic and/or undead pirates, led by Kharkon the Conqueror, who apparently ruled over "95% of his homeworld". And now he's going to take over Earth with, wait, this can't be right.

A dozen ships. Certainly you need more than a dozen ships to take over the world, right? Well, they're Black Ships, at least, which are magic ships crewed by undead and demons, so there's that. Right now, he's just trying to build up his home base in anticipation of further conquest. I mean, Conqueror is in the name. And because he's evil and down with demons and all that, it's been named Nightmare Island.

Kharkon the Undaunted,
Transformed Shifter

Teeth like a shark... hog...

So, Kharkon was a shifter (as seen wayyy back in the corebook) who joined with an alien intelligence named Drekkon the Destroyer for the powwwwahhhh. But Drekkon got chumped by a bunch of good forces who weren't down with the destroying, and Drekkon escaped destruction by possessing Kharkon. However, it turned out the weakened Drekkon wasn't a match for Kharkon, who had a strong enough will to maintain control, and so they became a hybrid demony kind of guy. Then he gathered up a fleet of over a hundred Black Ships and several hundred ships of other colors, and took over... the world!

Apparently even landlocked areas or the like.

However, one island remained that was ruled by warlocks and wizards, who used magic to create storms and keep his ships away. When he attacked personally, they used a ritual to send his ship through a rift and over to Earth. Granted, they didn't really care where they sent him, as long as it was elsewhere. It turns out Kharkon is ultimately way more interested in Earth now, though, because of his magical energy. He's made a very tenative alliance with Atlantis for trade, but it's likely to get broken once Kharkon tries to take over Atlantis. He's apparently a sharp cookie but is also utterly ruthless, using a mixture of curb stomping and subtlety to get what he wants. However, the magic energy of Earth means that Drekkon might get strong enough to take control... in several centuries, so who the gently caress cares, it's not going to matter in most campaigns. In any case: 1300 M.D.C., regenerates, can summon lesser demons, animate and control corpses, control rats or mice, invulnerable to fire and possession, has all the regular spells, see invisible stuff, and has a terrible magic sword and some magic armor.

Dalgon the Undying
A Syvan Pirate

Making sure the photographer gets his bad side.

A nice guy that loves puppies, sunshine, and the fresh scent of lilacs.

At least, that's how I'd like to start up a description for a Rifts NPC one day. Have I said that before? But this guy is a Syvan (from Rifts Conversion Book, the guys with a half-corpse face who otherwise look human) who wants to conquer and/or murder everything, and so he and Kharkon are conquest bros (evil monster fistbump, go), but is aware that Kharkon has a supernatural intelligence inside. If Kharkon tries to screw him, he'll try and bolster Drekkon to try and put forth a mutiny in Kharkon's own head. He doesn't trust Archill and is inclined to try and find a way to have him die in battle, and he might even recruit the PCs to manage that. In any case, he has 400 M.D.C., can sense emotions and the supernatural, has a ton of psychic powers, and a greater rune weapon (free with slightest inclination towards magical villainy). I guess he's supposed to be a manipulator, or something, I super don't care.

Archill the Necromancer

The number of skull-bearing villains is pretty boneheaded at this point.

A former wizard-king who joined with Kharkon with the intent of usurping his position, he's come to really regret that decision. He hates being a pirate, he hates being on a world with advanced technology, and mostly just hates. He's been working with the Splugorth as a double agent in exchange for a promise to be sent home. Mostly, though, he's inclined to try and murder Kharkon if he ever sees an opportunity. Also he's a super-sadist who likes to pull the whole polite torturer routine as if it was still cool. Other than that, he's a 12th level necromancer (from Rifts World Book Four: Africa) with a lesser rune weapon and some dragon bones to channel necromantic power through. And just because I'm so bored with these guys and he's a normal human, let's see the odds of rolling up a PC with the same stats as him.

His stats are: I.Q. 17 (0.8% chance), M.A. 15 (9.3% chance), M.E. 13 (25.9% chance), P.S. 11 (50% chance), P.P. 16 (NA), P.E. 18 (0.7% chance) , P.B. 8 (74% chance), Spd. 10 (62.5% chance). That's less than a one in three million chance not counting the 16, since you can't roll a 16 in Rifts character generation. However, if we add in the base chance of rolling a 16 on 3d6, that becomes less than one in six billion. That means if we get the entire population of Earth playing Rifts, one person will have stats equal to or better than Archill the Necromancer.

Let's not do that, though.

The Black Ships
Demonic Vessels

"The bat-wing sails help everybody realize: 'you're evil'."

These are actually from the Palladium RPG, specifically the book Adventures on the High Seas, even though these guys aren't from that setting. There's some magical ritual you can do to create these, and they come crewed with demons and zombies. The knowledge isn't widespread on Earth, but is known on Kharkon's homeworld. They've started adding high-tech guns to them as well, because skeletons can't say no to lasers. We get some excruiating details on their crew composition, which has demons and undead and undead in armor and guys with jet packs and tattooed men and ugh let's just get this book over with-

Since these are sailing vessels, they have masts and sails with surprisingly little M.D.C. you can blow apart to slow them down. In addition, instead of having a flat score for the hull or keel, it has an M.D.C. value for each hull and keel section, which means you can blow a hole in the hull without having to deplete its sizable M.D.C. value. They regenerate and can run on wind or magic. Supposedly they sometimes sacrifice prisoners to power the ship, but this seems odd, since it'd take about one average human prisoner for every four minutes of operation. On the other hand, you have dozens of demons with great P.P.E. values who could power the thing without much trouble. I guess being pointlessly evil is one of the main reasons to have these things... in any case, they also have laser cannons and a ram prow that actually does ridiculous damage, up to 265 damage on average for a full-speed hit. Of course, with a mere 32 MPH top speed outside of a ley line (it tops up to 70 MPH on one), most Rifts boats can just putter away from that ram hilariously. In fact, though the number of demons on board gives them some impressive magic, most of the other boats in this book could drive circles around these things, lobbing missiles until they sink.

Good luck with that world conquest plan, Kharkon! :thumbsup:


We wrap up with some experience tables and that's that. Honestly, this was one of my favorite Rifts books, and... actually having to sit down and read parts of it has done some damage to that notion. We get a lot more interesting setting than most Rifts books so far, with a lot of odd stuff, but it doesn't hold together so well on reflection. There's a lot of places like Bahia or Maga that are just... boring. Mostly it's just having a lot of places painted with a broad brush as universally good or universally bad, with not a lot inbetween. It also suffers from having monstrously dull villains throughout, with just a litany of supernatural whatsits that do evil because evil.

Still, it has a lot of crazy ideas compared to earlier world books, and if you're going to use the Rifts setting, it's a good book to use, with Carella adding a lot more variety than earlier books. This will especially be true after South America 2, with its alien invaders and mutant capybaras and Incan wizards. Right now this is just the first piece of one of the settings' better puzzles.

Next: Rifts in spaaace. Wait, didn't we already do that?

Alien Rope Burn fucked around with this message at 04:33 on May 26, 2015

Jan 7, 2015

Alien Rope Burn posted:

Archill the Necromancer

Man, his field of vision must be boned.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 5, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!

Doresh posted:

Man, his field of vision must be boned.

"Where we're going, we won't need eyes."

"But we're still on Earth, sir."

"I know! But... eventually."

May 27, 2013

Yet where is that woman now? Tell me, in what heave does she reside? None of them. Because no God bothered to listen or care. If that is what you think it means to be a God, then you and all your teachings are welcome to do as that poor women did. And vanish from these realms forever.

theironjef posted:

Aw come on, I was planning to cover the Clerks: Animated Series RPG next April.

I mean it's not exactly Clerks the RPG so that's still open game.

Count Chocula
Dec 25, 2011

Genius: The Transgression reminds me of half the plot of Age of Ultron.

Aug 5, 2003

Number 1 Nerd Tear Farmer 2022.

Keep it up, champ.

Also you're a skeleton warrior now. Kree.
Unlockable Ben

LornMarkus posted:

. . . and now I want a MAID game where a bunch of Maids serve an Antediluvian in torpor, and basically they're all crazy and just making up commands in the absence of input (possibly because they're trapped in its tomb/mansion).

There is a version called Eclipse Maid where the maids are all reconfigurable transhumans and they're serving a disembodied and unknowable AI.

Jan 7, 2015

hyphz posted:

There is a version called Eclipse Maid where the maids are all reconfigurable transhumans and they're serving a disembodied and unknowable AI.

This is a bit like that example scenario in the book where the maids are actually mikos and their master is the god of their shrine.

Dec 24, 2007

This is a couple of years old but worth remembering :

Aug 5, 2003

Number 1 Nerd Tear Farmer 2022.

Keep it up, champ.

Also you're a skeleton warrior now. Kree.
Unlockable Ben
Alright. So, what the heck. Semester is over. I can maybe handle another one of these.


Sometimes you just.. kinda want a Fantasy Heartbreaker. Maybe it's boredom, maybe it's masochism, maybe it's that the latest official D&D was meh at best and your group have already comprehensively broken 4e and Pathfinder. But, I went on the search for alternatives and found this, and hey, it might at least be interesting.

HackMaster is best known as being "that game they play in the Knights of the Dinner Table comic". Initially it was nothing more than a way of avoiding using any D&D trademarks in the strip; no real sign of any unique rules came up. Even after the game's release, the KoDT continued playing without any reference to the actual rules that had now been printed for the game they were supposedly playing, although I think there was some handwaved excuse for this.

There's also an issue with the fact that there are actually two versions of HackMaster, although they aren't obviously distinguished by cover or.. well, by anything really apart from which section they're in on PDF stores. There's Hackmaster Fourth Edition which is actually a reprint of 1st Edition D&D, complete with all the cruft like stat-based class entry requirements, racial maximum class levels, source-based saving throws, etc. with a bunch of extra "parody" rules added to it and a truly ridiculous number of monsters, all of which came in supplements. In spite of that, some people did play it, and I'm told this may have caused a problem because the license they got to reprint 1st Ed D&D was conditioned upon the book being a parody.

Then there's the one I'm looking at. Also known as New HackMaster, it's actually a complete system in its own right, rolling in some design principles from more modern games. That said, it still pulls rank on "parody" several times, most notably with the text containing lengthy grognard rants from the pseudo-author ("Gary Jackson") about how bad other games are or how "entitled" players who play other systems are. So, like the first game, it does have a bit of a problem with its defenders deflecting any criticism as "well, of course it has (bad feature), it's a joke about how games have (bad feature), isn't it?". Fortunately, that's happened a lot less with New HackMaster than the previous one. And even more notably, the GameMaster's Guide for HackMaster (which was the last book to be released) rather disarmed me by actually including a fairly thoughtful discussion in the forums of the differences between this game and D&D/Pathfinder, and the design reasoning behind some of the changes.

So, let's do what the book does and get right into it with character creation. It's a step by step process, and the book provides flowcharts for it.. and flowcharts for the subsections of it.. um, yes.

1. You get 90 build points. (Actually the book says you get 40, but you can treat it as if you get 90 for reasons we'll see below).

2. You write down the standard D&D six-stat block: Str, Dex, Con, Int, Wis, Cha, and then add a seventh called "Looks" which is actually the old Comeliness stat from one of the 1e supplements. Then you roll 3d6 on each of them, in order. Ayup.

3. If you didn't get at least a 13 on one stat, or had 5 or less on two or more, then you have the option of having your character leave to become a shopkeeper and rerolling everything.

4. Now, you roll a d100 for the percentile/fractional component of each stat. Older folks may remember that back in the days of 1e-2e D&D, if you raised your character's Strength above 18, you started getting an extra Strength score based on a percentile (for example, Str 18/50). For some unknown reason this only applied to Strength, and if you actually went over Str 18/100, you could go to Str 19 which was ridiculously powerful. Well, HackMaster puts a percentile component on every stat, but it actually acts like a proper percentile: when it goes up over 100, you increase your main stat score and roll the percentile over as appropriate. This is mainly used for incremental stat gains.

5. You can spend 25 BP to swap two of your stats, or 50 BP to swap as many of them as you like. This is why the "40 build points" is really 90, since the game represents this as a bonus for not swapping stats.

While we're here, we should probably mention what the stats do:
Strength affects how much you can carry, your bonus to damage rolls, and your "feat of strength" modifier (a sort of combination of the old bend bars/lift gates type rolls from 2e..)
Dexterity gives you bonuses to initiative, to-hit and defense, plus affecting your Dodge save and your "feat of agility" modifier (as above);
Constitution gives you HP (as always), and modifies your Physical save;
Intelligence gives you a bonus to-hit, and bonus BP for buying intelligence skills (it also affects spellcasting, but that's in the class section);
Wisdom gives you bonuses to initiative and defense, a BP bonus for Wisdom skills, and affects your Mental save;
Charisma gives you BP for Charisma skills, and bonuses to Honor, Morale, and Turning Undead;
Looks modifies your Charisma (so everything has to be calculated twice, thanks a bundle) and also affects Honor and Fame, which we'll come to later.
In case you were wondering, those three saves - Dodge, Physical, and Mental - are all the saves there are. Which was one of the things that made me jump: that's from 13th Age!

6. Pick a race. You can choose from: Dwarf, Elf, Gnome, Gnome Titan (gnomes bred for battle), "Grel" (basically dark, psychotic elves), Half-Elf, Half-Hobgoblin, Half-orc, Halfling, Human, and Pixie-Faerie. We'll come onto these later, but they give the standard kind of stat modification things you'd generally expect from races.

7. Pick a class. We have: Fighter, Ranger, Barbarian, Thief (which has sneaky type skills), Rogue (which has faceman/conman type skills), Assassin, Mage, Fighter/Mage, Fighter/Thief, Mage/Thief, and Cleric. Cleric pops up at the end because there's an entire chapter of the book devoted to different faiths the Cleric might be. You also have to pay BP for your class, based on the class/race combo you chose. Most of them cost between 20-30 points, but there are a few that are ridiculously expensive, with some hitting 75 points (Dwarf Ranger, Barbarian or Mage; Gnome Titan Mage or Cleric; Half-Hobgoblin Mage; Half-Orc Mage or Rogue; Halfling Mage or Assassin; Pixie-Faerie Cleric or Assassin) and a very few being outright banned (Elf, Gnome, Gnome Titan, Half-Elf, Halfling or Pixie-Faerie Barbarian; Grel Ranger or Rogue). As you'd expect from the 1e heritage, Humans get any class at the cheapest possible value, 20 BP.

8. You can now top up your ability scores by spending BP on them, too. 1 BP gets you 5 percentile points on a stat - unless the stat is below 9, in which case it gets you 10%, or above 16, in which case it gets you 3%.

9. Roll up the "priors and particulars", also known as those things you rolled for in old D&D editions that almost nobody paid attention to (unlike the background-based things you roll for in new D&D editions that nobody pays attention to). These are Age, Height, Body Mass index (yes, you actually calculate your weight by rolling your Body Mass Index and then reverse-engineering your actual weight based on your height), Handedness, and Circumstances of Birth.

10. Determine quirks and flaws. These are essentially random minor disadvantages that give you BPs back. You can roll them randomly, or choose; the problem is, if you choose, they're all counted as returning half the BP value they would if rolled randomly. It's up to you how many you take, but there's a cumulative BP return penalty of 5 points per quirk/flaw beyond the first, so eventually it'll just stop being worth it. You can also reroll a randomly rolled quirk/flaw for 1 BP.. which is the first, and not the only, time that the character generation process has you spending BP on a one-way action, making it a serious nightmare to try and do character generation with a spreadsheet or similar. The book also says players should only get 50% return for quirks/flaws that they don't work into a backstory, but good luck enforcing that one...

11. Buying more fun stuff! Talents, Proficiencies, and Skills.

Talents are the simplest of the lot. You pay some BP, you have the talent, you're done.

Proficiencies, as you may have guessed from the name, are the Weapon Proficiencies from D&D... plus some other things, which are a bit like Talents. Profiencies are always gained with individual weapons, although their costs are determined in groups and some of the classes give proficiency in "everything" in one or more categories. You can also take Weapon Specialization, but that's a much more complex system in HackMaster than it was in D&D: it's not exclusive to Fighters, although they pay less for it. Essentially, any time you buy a weapon specialization you buy a +1 bonus to one of the weapon's traits (attack, defense, damage, and speed). Once you have +1 in all of those, you can start buying +2s, and so on.

Skills are skills as from any regular RPG, and they have their own system. They're percentile based: you roll percentiles, if you roll under your skill, you succeed - although there's some pretty huge modifiers for difficulty (an "easy" use of a skill lets you subtract 90% from the roll). Your default value in a skill is the raw number for its governing stat, unless it's a trained only skill in which case you just can't use it if you haven't spent any points on it. Like everything else, you buy them with BP, and they cost varying amounts, and also.. exactly how much of a skill bonus you get for your BP is variable. Whenever you spend BP on a skill, you get to roll a "mastery die", and add a modifier based on your governing stat, and that's how many points you get. The mastery die starts at d12 and gradually decreases size the more points in the skill you currently have - so getting the last few points can be a real bastard. Oh, except for one little thing. The mastery die is also explosive, so if you roll a 12, you get to roll again and add one less than the result to your total, repeating if you roll more 12s. So you can technically leapfrog up the skill ladder like crazy if you roll well. This again is another case where BP expenditure is one-way, so good luck for min-maxers who want to play fair. The GMs guide actually gives an explanation for this rather strange way of doing skills, saying that they wanted to make sure that people couldn't just determine their entire skill build at level 1 as players tend to do in D&D and Pathfinder. That might be a bit of an overcorrection..

12. And now, finally, we can roll our HP and equip.

This section ends with a cheerful note that all ambiguity in the character generation rules should be resolved in the way that is worst for the PC. *grog*

So, we'll start looking at the races and classes next. Anyone particularly want us to make a character, and if so, what kind? :)

Oct 26, 2007

Friends: Protected
World: Saved
Crablettes: Eaten
I really hope Gnome Titans are almost exactly the same as humans, heigh/weight-wise.

Dec 19, 2012
Maybe an absolute bastard Grel Fighter/Thief with a few randomly rolled Quirks and Flaws.

Feb 28, 2014

Funny Little Guy Aficionado.
Make a Pixie-Faerie fighter! Do it! Tiny people with big swords!

May 30, 2011
Gnome Titan Mage. I want to see this happen. Make 'em real quirky, too.

Jul 19, 2012

by Fluffdaddy

Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.

Let's see how the Social class works in this.

Let's go Halfling Rogue

Sep 26, 2007
Dragon God
Still disapointed in the things that didn't make it to the 5e Hackmaster, like Monks, and possibly some races. I think the 4e version had Half-Ogres as well.

So I would say a Gnome-Titan Fighter groin stomping to victory, and a Pixie-Fairie Thief.

sexpig by night
Sep 8, 2011

by Azathoth
Gnome-Titan Fighters have the potential for a lot of fun. Pixie-Fairie thief is pretty great too.

My group has a genuine, unironic, love for Hackmaster, it's got some clunk in there and yea 4e hid waaaay too far behind 'no it's a joke see' but there's this really good blend of actual love for old style D&D and also an utter contempt for many of the kinds of players old style D&D forged.

Also, while it's not F&F material really (I don't think) the 5th ed monster manual is probably one of my absolute favorite monster books period. It has the normal stat blocks, then it has a quick reference 'stat rose' with all the important stuff (DR, attack bonus, etc) and even a block for Monster Hunter style harvesting the corpse including medical, edible, and just straight up trophy 'loot' along with the obvious 'dragons have mad gold' stuff. Plus there's little asides from 'experts' for fluff and little details like pictures of tracks and poo poo. This is what I mean when I say there's actual love for the product, these dudes are clearly 100% into their concept and that's just really important in these heartbreaker type things.

sexpig by night fucked around with this message at 22:20 on May 24, 2015

Jul 19, 2012

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

I've had this half-written for a while now, you have no idea how soul-numbing it is to transcribe someone talking about how sexy cats are and how much sex cats are having with people.

Bastet: Art with Fatal Grace


You could see the notches on his ears through the barroom haze. The smoke didn't seem to bother him at all. An LED cast lit his pantherish features, its green glow accentuating his mahogany skin. He smiled as Race stretched towards the deejay booth, up on her toes like a curious mouse. "Emile Autum?!?" she shrilled through the thumping roar. Ghost nodded, still smiling, but said nothing. His eyes held hers like destiny fulfilled. She took the bait, a goner. I knew then where she'd sleep it off tonight.
I shook my head. Another one. Lucky bastard! Ghost didn't have to say a word, and they came to him like catnip. It wasn't just the deejay aura - it was him. I grimaced ruefully, half-amused, half-jealous. I'd lost the Race, so to speak. Time for another beer.
Yeah cats are all about sex and sensuality. "When cat embodied herself on earth, so magnificent was she that it took not one godhead to contain her glory, but many. Ra took cat-form to slay the serpent of night; Lilith yowled like a cat in heat. Sekhmet roared with the fury of a lioness, but it was Bast, precious Lady Bastet, who epitomized cat best. Goddess of the home, marriage, and sexuality, she purred with satisfaction and spat with rage." But you see, they only seem too carnal, because each sensation deserves to be experienced in it's entirety. Stay with me folks, this is going to get worse before it gets better.

Breed Traits: Bastet are all smooth and elegant, there are some "Fat Cats" but 'by and large they are all strikingly attractive.' "The Housecat and the Tiger share the same design, one of the most perfect in all Nature."

Habitats:After about half a sentence stating the 'ancestral homes of catfolk' it abandons all pretense and and states that cats like to roam. The only real concern of the catfolk now is that they want to be kept and comfortable, housecats might like a cluttered apartment but a Jaguar would demand a mansion.

Predators and Prey: "Cats are the perfect land-based predators, and cannot survive without at least a bit of meat in their diets. Most werecats prefer much more than just 'a bit.'" Prey animals are 'fascinated' by bastet, this includes humans, because all humans are prey to the bastet.

Spirit-Ties: As a rule catfolk don't have strong spiritual connections but what kind of cat obeys rules?

Kin:Catfolk are promiscuous and rarely stick around, but they are fiercely loyal to their kin, so they watch them from afar.

Society: A cat chooses her company, so basically whoever the cat feels would make a nice 'kin' will be the cat's kin.

Alphas: Catfolk will rarely listen to alphas, so any decision is usually come to with a lot of unnerving screaming, hissing, and swatting as they fight for dominance.


Man: "You might be lord of half the world/ You'll not own me as well."
Mages: Such lovely tricks. I wonder how they do it.
Vampires: *purring* Everything that's bad about creation, wrapped up in the prettiest packages. Even the most revolting of them is worth the price of his acquaintance.
Werewolves: If they keep to their side of the rug, I'll keep to mine. If not, someone's gonna bleed.

There's also a bit where they go intot he various accords, and point out that while a catfolk might be a fierce protector of their own kin, "cats will abuse or kill a rival's offspring", so ex-boyfriends are fair game.

I hate full bleed artwork
Rajanya: The Ghosts Next Door


To be Rajan is to be blessed by the bloody side of Heaven. Regal as the gods themselves, these beasts embody majesty. Tales claim Tiger's breed sprang up from the blood of Durga as she battled demons at the beginning of time. Other versions have Rajanya sired by the union of a great hero and his former enemy, a tiger, or spilled from the eyes of Kali as she beheld Shiva's broken bones. No version of their myth shows the Rajanya as anything less than the offspring of Gods. It's an attitude they carry even now.
You know, except for the fact that Tigers are dying out rather quickly in the wild. "his face adorns toys and cereal boxes, not the shadows of his rightful home." They're still an iconic figure but as an animal tigers are dying fast. Of course, weretigers refuse to submit to anyone. Rajan master their domain through force of will and personality. They don't need claws to get what they want. They're loyal, tenacious, and brave... except to a tiger, all living things are either protectorates, playthings, distractions or food. "This isn't personal - it's just the order of things. After all, in the east it is the tiger, not the lion, who is truly king of beasts."

Appearance:Most Rajanya are from Indian, Chinese, or South Asian stock. Though there are some Russian(Amura), English(Hu), and American(Khan) were-tigers as well. Their war-form is almost 10 feet high, 1,000 pounds, and has 6 inch claws. Amura were-tigers apparently don't assume the war-form instead turning into giant siberian tigers (I.E. they have dire instead of war forms) "Who needs two-legs anyway, tovarishch? There's also a rare Chinese sub-breed, the Fujian Ghost-Tigers with blue fur and black stripes that also just go dire instead of war.

Breed Favors:Fang and Claw 2(L), Keen Senses(all), Size 7
Breed Bonus: All Rajanya and Fujian Ghost-Tigers *must* buy the Striking Look merit(they don't get it for free)
Form Adjustments: War-Beast: Str+5, Dex+2, Stamina+5, Size 8, Health+8, Speed+7, +2 to Perception Rolls. Primal Beast: Strength+3, Dexterity+2, Stamina+3, Size+2, Health+5, Speed+8, +3 to perception rolls

Judging by what he'll state later, yes, he is implying that all were-tigers just start out at size 7 to begin with (normal humans are size 5, Andre the Giant would be on the upper reaches of size 6) which is, frankly, ludicrous. This also means that they could pick up the "Giant" merit and go up to size 8 in human form. The tallest human being alive topped out at 8'11" and had lots of problems just existing. Someone really needs to smack Brucato upside the head with the size chart. Also: Yes, the observant amongst you would note that the War-Beast form blows the Gauru war form out of the water The only thing it doesn't have better is Armor, but it also has 3 more stamina so who cares.

*sustained scream*
Bubasti: Hungry Ghosts
Were-Khypur Cats, the Bubasti are all cursed with an endless voracious hunger. During Egypt's golden age, they were the favored sons and daughters of the city of Per-Bast. And since they were Bast's chosen children, they had lots and lots of sex. Then the Persians sacked the city, and slaughtered all the Khypur cats. Giving Rise to the Bubasti curse, somehow. "Perhaps they could move forward if it weren't for the hollow-bellied curse they share. However, they are no longer bound to the land of Bast; children who have never known the kiss of Egypt cry restless in their cribs, starving from infancy from a birthright they cannot understand. So when the Gift of Bast descends and a hungry boy or girl sees visions of their goddess... well, she could be excused a bit of fanaticism. If only it made the hunger fade..."

Appearance: All Bubasti, regardless of their origins, are rail-thin and 'exotic' which means that they're 'beautiful' to the modern celebriculture. "The exotic cast of their features plus their exquisite thinness and temperamental ways make these folk irresistible." Their primal forms are huge whip-thin felines, and their "war-Form" are nightmarish cat-people rather than .. big.. cat-people. I guess

Background: The Bubasti are quite organized with a bunch of names for a bunch of different hierarchical positions. "If these numbers are correct, it would make the Bubasti one of the most numerous breeds - and certainly the most organized." The Khypur Cats are heirs to ancient magics. "Using statues, scrolls, amulets, hieroglyphs, unguents, incense and elaborate rituals, the Hungry Ghosts seek wealth, revenge, and an end to gnawing hunger."

Breed Favors: Beast Magic(5 dots of spells), Clever Monkey, Fang and Claw 1(L)
Breed Bonus: All Bubasti have to guy Striking Looks(not free), but they do get three free specialties in academics.

Form Adjustments: Throwback: Str+1, Dex+3, Sta+1, Health+1, Speed+4, +5 to Perception Primal Beast: Strength-1, Dex+3, Sta-1, Health-2, Speed+6, +4 to Perception

So, yeah, "OH WOE IS US WE ARE CURSED WITH ETERNAL HUNGER AND BEAUTY!" Also, apparently they are human-sized black cats, but the health math implies they're only size 4? Have I mentioned that Brucato has no idea how the size/health/speed math works in the nWoD? Also they all have to have magic, so goodbye Feral Heart.

Hatara: Please to See the King
Were-Lions who are children of the sun itself. Of course the only beast to challenge Lion was Man.


Called "the Golden Dangers,"these ferals trace their ancestry to the sun itself. Long ago, the Great Creator called together the chiefs of Man and Beast. To force an accord between them, he took blood from each king, stirred them up in a calabash and invited each one to drink. So the spirits of one entered the other and sired children of both within their queens. In the desert where this took place, lions and humans live in harmony to this day. Elsewhere, though, the lineage went sour. Brothers fought as brothers will, and they're still fighting even now.
Except lions don't live in the desert? "Similar to most cats, the males are far larger than the females, and just as most women, their females are more deadly than the males." Unlike most other Cat-folk, Lions are a social breed, so they raise their children within the pride.

Appearance: Most are of african origins, but a few 'white-lions' have been born in recent years. They're all tall and boast lean muscles and thick heads of hair. "Since hair is regarded by many black Africans as a sign of animalism, Hatara often shave their heads clean; some, however, grow dreadlocks in the modern age, and honor their feline ancestry with a sacred fashion statement." Apparently their war-beast forms literally glow "Blazing with heat and inner light, they rise up on their back legs and stand erect. A godlike fusion of Beast and Man bellows with regal rage."

Background:Like everyone else, the Hatara are super charismatic. "Kings, however, make grand fools. Here,too, the Hatara are notorious. Literal, stubborn and set in their ways, they provide excellent fun for tricksters who are brave enough to tweak their manes. Hatara trust too much and question too little, and are often led astray. The sun may have let its mark in them, but in the process the sun might have struck them blind."

Breed Favors: Fang(bite)3(L) and Claw 2(L), Keen Senses(all), Size 6
Breed Bonus: All Hatara gain a fre social specialty, and subtract 1 die from dice pools to spot a con job, lie, or illusion.
Form Adjustments: War-Beast:Str+4, Dex+1, Stam+5, Size 8, Health+8, Speed+5, +2 to Perception. Primal Beast: Strength+2, Dexterity+2, Stamina+2, Size+1, Health+3, Speed+7, +3 to Perception

Again, 'tall' translates to 'has gigantism', they're also deadlier than Gauru again, and have a bite that's more powerful than Ferals are actually supposed to have access to so sure I guess.

Bahgrasha: Hidden Fears
I... just...


Say "Panther" if you will, but these flk prefer Bahgrasha (bog-ROSH-uh). When serpent-demons stalked the land, a human woman dared the love of beasts to stop them. Two leopards came to her - one black, one spotted. She bore children to them both, and those bloodlines became the Bahgrasha.
"Oh no, we're being attacked by snake demons. Better gently caress some cats!" Flawless Logic. Apparently Bahgrasha have the most violent storm of any Changing Breed. "Abandoning everything she held close, she descends into a madness only her accord can cure. She drinks. She Fights. She fucks. Visions come to her, and choices and the hunt. Unless she finds a balance point, she'll be mauled from the inside-out, deep in woods or alleyways... if she's ever found at all." But because their storm was so violent they're apparently super kind? or something.

Appearance: Snow Leopards, Clouded Leopards, and black panthers are "the most glamorous type of all".


In War-Beast form, these ferals recall the leopard-steed of Dionysus: quadrupedal, with huge mad eyes, hooked claws and slavering fangs, the beast seems to go berserk even if she resists the tiger storm. Her demons seem to run-loose under her skin. Foam seethes from her muzzle as every shred of her balanced self is lost.

Breed Favors: Catwalk, Fang and Claw 2 (L), Keen Senses(All)
Breed Bonus: Baghrasha start with their harmony one point higher than normal. They also 'commonly' have spirit based aspects but they still have to pay for em.

Form Adjustments: War-Beast: Str+3, Dex+5, Sta+3, Size 7, Speed+8, +1 to Perception. Primal Beast: Strength+2, Dexterity+3, Stamina+2, Size 5, Health+2, Speed+8, +2 to Perception

Nothing really stands out, they're still overpowered but at least they aren't 10 foot tall rail-thin humans.

The Others:
These ones don't get full write-ups, but they're still Bastet.
Balam: the Obsidian Echoes


Shortly after the gods created man, they took white and yellow corn from the place where the waters divided. They mixed teh corn together, ground it up and brewed it with nine broths. From the broth came four jaguars, and such was their intellect that the gods grew frightened. The god Hurakan breathed on the four brothers and clouded their vision. Each brother was given a human wife, and from them came the Balam.
This is a mash up between like, three different myths. With the Brucato twist of "and then a whole bunch of bestiality happened".

To make things even more confusing, even though Hurracan is a Mayan god, they worship the Aztec gods, and live in the Amazon fighting against the human predations of the forest. And since "Aztec" is lazy developer speak for "human sacrifice" the Balam kill people basically at random to appease the gods. Hooray.

Breed Favors: Fang and Claw 2(L), Keen Senses(all), Needleteeth
Breed Bonus: A free stealth and survival specialty.

Form Adjustments: War-Beast: Strength+3, Dex+2, Sta+3, Size 6, Health+4, Speed +5, +2 to Perception. Primal Beast: Str+2, Dex+2, Sta+3, Health+3, Speed+6, +4 to Perception.

So other than being 3 different kinds of racist, they're just super bland and a rip-off of what the Balam were in the old world of darkness.

Cait Sith: The Noble Rogues
Fuuuuuuuu this is going to be terrible isn't it?


When the lions of Old Europe went the way of ancient Rome, their kin were left clinging to the ruins. Adapting with outlaw acumen, they wove themselves into noble families, Gypsy bands, rural tribes and holdouts from the pagan age. Immortalized as Cait Sith, Dinsele, Lionhearts, and Ceilican, these cat-folk hid in plain sight and held back extinction through force of will.
Yeah I guess, but not as bad as it could have


Seducing and raping their way through a long Dark Age, these dapper devils appear in gruesome tales not told to children. Inquisitors raised their pyres, but the Cait Sith endured. These days the bloodline still holds strong.
Damnit Brucato! I'm not even going to subject you to the rest of this, they're capital T Tricksters and in brucato-world that means they're basically assholes but you're supposed to love them anyway. Also they don't have a war-form, instead they have a throwback form that looks like puss in boots.


Breed Favors: Fang and Claw 1(L), Keen Senses(all), Sweet-Voiced Fiend
Breed Bonus: four free specialties in social skills and they have access to the "bag of Tricks" list
Form Adjustment:Throwback:Str+1, Dex+5, Stam+1, Size 4, health+0, speed+6, +3 to Perception. Primal Beast: Str 2, dex+3, stamina 3, size 3, health 6, speed+4, +3 to perception.

Just give puss-in-boots here an AK-47 and you've got yourself a rapist gun nut. Fantastic.

Qualm'a ni: Riddlers of Dust
Brucato's just scraping the bottom of the barrel with "terrible character archetypes from the old world of darkness that every sane person hated" isn't he? The Qualm'a ni are that really annoying stereotype of a native-american character who speaks in riddles and then gets mad at the person for not figuring out what their riddle meant. With the added bonus of failure usually resulting in death.

They've also got very punchable smug faces. And since they were running out of page space and didn't want to come up with were-pumas... the Qualm'a ni aren't just lynxes, they're also pumas, bobcats, or... maine coons.

Breed Favors: Clever Monkey, Earthbond, Fang and Claw 2(L)
Breed Bonus: Two free physical and social specialties. And add +1 dice to any dice pool involving earthbond or territory bond. And Qualm'a ni consider any rural or wilderness area in the Americas their territory.
Form Adjustments:War-Beast: Str+2, Dex+3, Sta+2, Health+2, Speed+5, +2 to Perception. Primal Beast: Str+1, Dex+3, Sta+3, Health+3, Speed+7, +2 to Perception

Klinkerash: The Devil-Fire Breed
Because apparently the Bubasti weren't enough. We need two "evil black cat" breeds. Except these ones are super evil, and associate with satanists and pagans. Also they're all descended from witches and their familiars. Yes in that way. No I don't care anymore.

Breed Favors:Beast Magic(five dots), fang and claw 1(l), Keen Senses(all)
Breed Bonus: Two skill specialties in Occult. And the don't have a war beast form. Also their primal beast form gets a +2 bonus to hide from anything size 5 or larger.
Form Adjustments: Dire Beast:Str+2, Dex+4, Sta+2, Size 4, Health+1, Speed+9, +2 to Perception. Primal Beast: Str 2, Dex 5, Sta 3, size 2, health 5, speed 12, +4 to perception Rolls.

Next up: Were Elephants, and all sense of balance goes out the window.

Aug 5, 2003

Number 1 Nerd Tear Farmer 2022.

Keep it up, champ.

Also you're a skeleton warrior now. Kree.
Unlockable Ben
Pixie-Faerie Fighter is a 50 BP cost combo, and Gnome Titan Mage is 75 BP. That means you really have to pray you get decent stat rolls in the right order, because you'll get at most one swap for the Fighter, and none at all for the Mage. Rogues only have one special social ability, but they do get a few spells later on, although with some above average weirdness and ability to screw them up.

And no, Gnome Titans aren't the size of humans. In fact, by the table they're shorter than regular gnomes! That said, their player advice reads:

Hackmaster posted:

Dude, you’re a gnome titan. A Gnome Titan. You kick arse. You have so much arse to kick, you can’t kick all of it now, so you take names so that later you can remember to kick those you can’t get to just now. People say you’re short, but you don’t see it. You’re as big as a hill giant. And anyone that even thinks otherwise gets a swift kick in the ‘nads. Napoleon was probably a gnome titan; you both have the same complex and when he got pissed, he frickin’ conquered some world power or other like Austria or Prussia or something in a few days. That’s you in nut shell. You don’t take crap from anyone. You’re a lean, mean, fightin’ machine!

(And yes, they do use the British spelling of arse in the book.)

Oct 10, 2005

Ah yes, the ever-so-useful "here's a bunch of :words: about this race, individual members of which do not actually follow these :words: about the race, thanks for the money you dumb fuckers" splatbook.

Nov 8, 2009

I love the potoo,
and the potoo loves you.

AmiYumi posted:

Ah yes, the ever-so-useful "here's a bunch of :words: about this race, individual members of which do not actually follow these :words: about the race, thanks for the money you dumb fuckers" splatbook.

"Also, you're a furry and just don't know it yet because here's a bunch of supersexy cat people."

Where does that even come from? I have a cat and love the doofus, but he's a high-functioning moron of an animal who spends most of his time contorted into non-Euclidean shapes to fit himself into the shoebox he likes to sleep in. Sexy, magical, or charismatic, he is not.

Dec 19, 2012
Don't want to break up creepy cat talk, so I'll just drop this in and let everyone continue.

Princess: the Hopeful
Princess Traits - Princess PTSD
Skirts, dresses, stars, hearts and sparkles The various Advantages and Disadvantages of being a pretty pretty Prince or Princess. I apologize for the sheer number of Madoka pics, but the series provides an easily accessible amount of choice images for this section.

Inner Light
Wisps and Attribute/Skill Maxes follow Demon's (and presumably others). Transformed Attribute/Skill Max is the max when transformed. It starts at 5 and goes up 1 every 2 Inner Light until 9 Inner light where it matches the Mundane max. Princesses start with a max effective Charm level of 3. The effective Charm level is the Charm's level plus one per upgrade bought (so a 3 dot Charm with 4 Upgrades bought is effectively Seven). The max Charm level goes up one per Inner Light. Princesses also have Sensitivity, their drawback. The dice rolled for Sensitivity is equal to half of Inner Light rounded up.



A Princess is, by nature, sensitive to the suffering of others. When she sees someone in pain she cannot help but feel it herself; when she witnesses cruel or callous acts that cause suffering in others, the light within her dims and flickers. The sympathetic pain echoes in her mind afterward as a Haunting; she may continue to see the face of the victim or relive the moment over and over. Food tastes like dust, her favorite music is nothing but a cacophony, and headaches won’t leave her. Worse, the most severe Hauntings leave behind a lasting injury to her magic, represented as the Shadows trait.
The acts a Princess is sensitive to are called cruelties. A cruelty is any action which causes significant emotional pain to a sapient being that is not fundamentally evil (creatures of the Darkness are fundamentally evil, except Darkened). Both the act and the victim must be in the Princess’ presence, and to qualify the villain must be being who has a Virtue and Vice (or equivalent) – accidents or animals may cause pain, but they don’t trigger Sensitivity. The degree to which a Princess is sensitive is determined by her Inner Light, increasing in size as the Inner Light grows stronger. When a Princess witnesses (or causes) an act of cruelty, she rolls a dice pool of half her Inner Light (rounded up); she adds 1 die if the tainter is an intimate of hers, adds 2 dice if she herself is the tainter. The Storyteller may add up to three additional dice if the act is especially heinous.
Any successes on this roll mean the Princess experiences a Haunting; if there are more successes than the Princess’s rating in Shadows she also gains one dot in Shadows and the Fresh Shadows Condition. The type of a Haunting is determined by the number of successes rolled and the severity of the Haunting is determined by the dots in Shadows she possesses. When a Haunting occurs on a roll that also caused the character to gain a dot of Shadows, use the new, higher rating to determine its severity. The duration of a Haunting is normally one scene, but if a Princess’ Belief falls too low Hauntings last longer.
A war zone, a call center or possibly a bondage dungeon would probably trigger a boatload of Sensitivity rolls for a Princess. Yelling a slur to a particularly vulnerable person might cause a Princess to be literally Triggered and have them be literally shaking. :v:

This is one of those rolls where successes are to be avoided. If there are more successes then their rating in Shadows, they get a dot in Shadows in addition to the Haunting effects. The last quoted paragraph doesn't quite mesh with the next table (unless my reading comprehension has gone down the shitter while making this post) which contains effects based on the number of successes on the Sensitivity roll. The Haunting types are also the stages of Grief. All conditions gained as a result of this last for the Haunting's duration
1 Success - Acceptance - Take unpreventable Bashing damage equal to Shadows
2 Successes - Depression - Roll Shadows, lose Willpower equal to the number of successes, minimum 1. Also gain the Memories of Failure Condition
3 Successes - Bargaining - Gain the Senseless Martyr condition
4 Successes - Anger - Gain the Obsessive Vengance condition. If the Princess was the perpetrator, then gain the Pain Seeker condition instead
5 Successes - Denial - Gain the Abject Denial condition. If the Princess was the perpetrator, gain the Willful Amnesia condition instead.

All these conditions remind me of the note during The Huntsmen Chronicles development that said that not everything had to be a Condition.



Shadows are the painful product of Sensitivity. They are regrets and sorrows, doubts and fears; they are everything a person says when they say “I can’t” to themselves; and for a women whose emotions are magic they can be as debilitating as any illness.
Another typo. Also, the fact that it's female when talking about emotions being as debilitating as an illness gives me these odd vibes of sexism. I know that Princess isn't meant to be gender specific and they only use females in the text given the nature of the source material, but it still kinda bugs me. It does read with less odd sexism if "women" was replaced with "person." Mechanically, Shadows are a penalty to a Princess's Transformation roll (the first time it's mentioned) making it Belief + Inner Light - Shadows. To get rid of Shadows, the Princess must smite the Villain with all of the power of Love and Justice and scatter the remains with the force of their Hope


During the scene in which a Princess gains a dot of Shadows, if she manages to make the victim of the Tainting whole, or punish the one responsible for it, she may remove the dot again. After the scene ends, the dot “sticks” and can’t be lost so easily. If a Princess with Shadows fulfills her Virtue, she may remove 1 dot of Shadows in addition to regaining Willpower. If a Princess rolls an Exceptional Success on any roll to regain Wisps, she may also remove a dot of Shaodws. Finally, a Princess may spend Beats to remove a dot of Shadows; the cost equals her current Shadows rating.

There are four things Wisps are generally used for:
  • Charms are already explained (the magic tricks Princesses can do).
  • Practical Magic - spending Wisps to add bonus dice to mundane rolls based on certain Attributes as determined by one's Queen.
  • Holy Shield - while Transformed, negate Bashing or Lethal damage at a one to one rate of Wisps or downgrade Aggravated to Bashing (it's not explained if spending 2 Wisps can negate 1 Agg damage or not)
  • Quickening Transformation - same as in Werewolf.
If a Princess's Wisp pool falls to 10-Belief, she gets the condition Running on Fumes

To regain Wisps, there are also four ways:
  • Call of Duty - The normal method of regaining Wisps. At the end of every Scene where a Princess successfully performs a Task appropriate to her calling, the ST can call for a roll with the same pool as the task (or one of the pools if there are more than one) with a penalty equal to their Shadows. They regain Wisps equal to successes on the roll
  • Inner Strength - By spending 1 WP, the player can roll Belief and regain Wisps equal to successes + Inner Light. An exceptional success also grants the next roll Rote. This method is only to be used when the Princess is in immediate danger. Making a heroic speech asserting her Beliefs beforehand grants 9-Again on the roll.
  • Circle of Light - It's a Merit and is explained there.
  • Voluntary Work - Doing the stuff that would fulfill the Call of Duty requirements during downtime. Also, related to the Mandate Merit
An exceptional success on any of the rolls to regain Wisps also removes a point of Shadows.

Dreams are special Aspirations that involve helping others as that's what a Princess is all about. In addition, fulfilling them gives a Luminous Beat in addition to a normal Beat. Otherwise, they're functionally identical to a normal Aspiration.

Luminous Experience
By fulfilling Dreams and getting an exceptional success on Volunteer Work rolls, Princesses gain Luminous Beats. Five Luminous Beats get one Luminous Experience. Luminous XP can be spent on Inner Light, Belief, removing Shadows and buying Social Merits. Normal XP can be used to supplement these purchases.



Belief tracks the strength of a Princess’s convictions, her belief in herself and her cause. Characters with high Belief are confident, assured, able to draw on their power more readily due to the strength of their certainty. They inspire confidence in everyone around them. Characters with low Belief are wracked with doubt and despair, losing their confidence that the world can be saved and that they have the ability to do it, thinking larger and larger compromises must be necessary if there is any hope to win at all. At first, this is only a minor loss, and characters may believe it healthy to learn of their own limitations and view the world more realistically. As Belief continues to drop, though, all hope begins to abandon the character, her powers seem further away, across a widening gulf of gnawing doubt, and she may begin to project an aura of uncertainty and depression on those around her.

The Belief trait replaces the Integrity system from the God-Machine Chronicle. Where as Integrity represents a character collapsing under traumatic and supernatural events, Belief represents a core of inner strength and hope that allows a Princess to carry on going even while she is collapsing under trauma, duty and the burden of Sensitivity. Starting characters begin with a Belief of 7, representing idealism and confidence without being totally blinded by rose-coloured glasses.

As a Princess loses Belief, she begins to think along the lines of “Our ideals alone are not enough. We’ve got to compromise on some things if we want got get the big prize. We need to set our sights lower. What we’re doing is wrong, but it has to be done because our determination and ideals aren’t enough anymore.” She thinks “I can do this... but I have to hurt the people I’m trying to help.” She degenerates further, and now tells herself “I can do this... but I have to kill some people.”

Low Belief Princesses will inspire the poo poo out of you :getin:

Something I missed in the previous section, Princesses also start with rules that they live by based on their Belief. Think vows of sorts. A rule of thumb is that there's a rule that they live by for each dot of Belief above the fourth. These can change as the game goes on. Other morals codes are implied (such as those involving murder and the like).

Whenever a Princess would violate her beliefs, abandon a Dream or cause important to her, fail to save a loved one from an untimely death, cause a friend or loved on to die or use certain Charms, they trigger a Compromise roll. A Compromise roll is the morality roll everyone knows using Resolve + Composure.


Dramatic Failure: The Princess’ sense of hope has been damaged, she might never again regain her youthful idealism. Lose a dot of Belief and choose from the following Conditions (or create a new one with Storyteller approval) as her negative emotions send her magic haywire: Shattered Confidence, Dissociation, Abdicated or Madness. Also, take a Beat.

Failure: The Princess’ sense of hope is shaken. She is probably questioning her right to call herself Noble and the chance that good might ever prevail. Lose a dot of Belief and choose from the following Conditions (or create a new one with Storyteller approval): Heavy Crown, Self-Doubt, or Overcompensatory Guilt. Alternatively and only when it would be a serious inconvenience, loose your powers for the remainder of the scene and take a Beat.

Success: The Princess comes through with her sense of idealism intact. She believes that she could have done things differently, better, and resolves to be more worthy of her title next time. Choose one of the following Conditions (or create a new one with Storyteller approval): Cracked Confidence, Heavy Crown, Self-Doubt, or Over-compensatory Guilt.

Exceptional Success: The Princess’ experiences taught her the value of both her principles and pragmatism, and how to best combine them in a complex world. She takes a beat and gains a point of Willpower.
Again, lots of Conditions being thrown around.

Along with this, the game also provides a list of modifiers to the Compromise roll based on the triggering action. Ostensibly, this could be better done with a chart or with just a general cleanup, but idk.


• The Princess fought for a cause until the very end but failed: +3
• The Princess abandoned a cause because she realised (justifiably) that it wasn’t such a good idea: +2
• One of the Princess’ loved one chose to die in a heroic sacrifice: +2
• Betraying the third oath of one’s calling: +1
• The Princess abandoned a cause because a more urgent cause turned up: +1
• Betraying the third oath of one’s calling: +1
• Abandoning Family and friends: -1
• Betraying the second oath of one’s calling: -1
• One of the Princess’ loved ones died of preventable natural causes, including problems that are only fixable with magic: -1
• Inflicting significant hardship on another (bullying, getting expelled from school): -1
• The Princess abandoned a cause for personal reasons (blackmail, exhaustion, exam revision): -2
• Permitting the theft of light from the world: -2
• Betraying the first oath of one’s calling: -3
• One of the Princess’ loved one was killed by something she failed to deal with (a Darkspawn that got away, a plague she was trying to cure, she died in battle alongside the Princess): -3
• Unplanned killing (manslaughter):-3
• Killing in self defence or within the rules and customs of war (either the Geneva Conventions or an equally moral but different set of rules): -3
• One of the Princess’ loved one was killed because of her connection to the Princess: -4
• The Princess abandoned a cause for personal gain (e.g. she was bribed by the oil companies): -4
• Dealing with a supernatural force anathema to humanity and the Light (the Dark, etc) to trade information or anything that does not involve direct aid: -4
• Betraying family or friends: -4
• Premeditated murder: -5
• Torture: -5
• Preventing a Blossoming: -5
• Serial murder: Automatic Chance Die.
• Utter perversion: Automatic Chance Die.
• Aiding a supernatural force anathema to humanity and the Light: Automatic Chance Die.
Other modifiers:


• The Princess has Belief 8-10: +2
• The Princess has 4-5 dots in Circle: +2
• The Princess Compromised her Beliefs to protect a friend or loved one: +2
• The Princess acted in accordance with her Virtue: +1
• The Princess has Belief 6-7: +1
• The Princess has 2-3 dots in Circle: +1
• The Princess follows the Queen of Mirrors: +1
• The Princess has a Condition caused by Specchio’s Drawback: +1
• The Princess acted in accordance with her Vice: -1
• The Princess has Belief 3-4: -1
• The Princess has no dots in Circle: -1
• Compromising her principles allowed the Princess to achieved her goals: -2
• The Princess has Belief 1-2: -2

The Belief section has two sidebars: One about "Social Manoeuvring" in order to cause a Belief Compromise.


The aggressor sets the goal of ”inflict a Belief Compromise”. Calculate the Doors as normal, assume that this always counts as opposing a virtue, and when the last Door is opened make a Compromise roll. The Princess can’t offer an alternative, from a game perspective there is no alternative equal to a Belief Compromise. Vices and leverage can work as normal. Tempting a Princess with tickets to her favourite band gives means she’ll be spending an evening with her tormentor, who can use that time to chip away at the Princess’ self confidence.
The other is about mandatory Compromise rolls


Any act which carries a -3 modifier is always a Compromise for a Princess with a Belief of five or above. At a -4 modifier the limit drops to Belief four and above. A -5 modifier drops the limit to Belief 3. Any act so heinous to force an automatic Chance Die will always be a Belief Compromise no matter what. This also applies to a Princess’ unique Compromises, should they have a modifier severe enough.

A Princess's followers can also instigate Compromise rolls.


A Princess is also held responsible for the deeds of her followers. If another person, acting under her direction or with good reason to think she wishes it, fails a degeneration check, the Princess implicitly Compromise her Belief. Unless the Princess explicitly ordered the act this is more forgiving than Compromises that she intended: Half any negative modifiers or double any positive modifiers on the follower’s roll, that is the modifier for the Princess’ own roll.

It is possible for one Princess to ask a follower to do something that would not Compromise the Princess’ own Beliefs but still requires the follower to make a degeneration roll. A Princess who sees nothing wrong with using her magic to bring criminals to justice may convince a fellow Princess working for the police to break her commitment to due process and share some evidence. A Princess may lead a team of armed mortals against a nest of Darkspawn, this is not a Compromise for the Princess but facing such monsters is a Breaking point for the Mortals. When this occurs it still is a breaking point for the Princess. The only exception is when performing an unambiguously moral act is a breaking point. If a Princess convinces a werewolf not to kill an innocent who knows his secret, that’s might be a breaking point against the shapeshifter’s obscure laws but the Princess does not risk her Belief.
So the ST can be a real dick with NPCs if they wanted. Or Vampires can via their own mental tricks or coercion.

Belief also affects how long a Haunting lasts. At 4 Belief, Hauntings last 2 Hours all the way to 1 Belief making Hauntings last 2 Days. At Belief 0, a lot of things happen:


When a Princess hits Belief 0, the anchorstone of her self is shattered. As her sense of hope, drained by so many Compromises, finally runs out her Inner Light starts to go out. She decreases her Inner Light to 0 dots, nothing more than a few fading embers. Her Phylactery shatters, suddenly age-rotted, and she forcefully de-Transforms, back to her normal identity. Without a Phylactery, she cannot Transform. Barred from the Dreamlands the Queens can offer no comfort. Even the Twilight Queens are disgusted by a Noble who falls this far, for Tears sees her as a threat to Alhambra, Storms as just another Dark creature waiting to happen, and Mirrors as a failed True Queen to be forgotten.

Many would say that this is enough of a curse; that, stripped of rank and privilege, she is left to wander the Earth. It may be. But that is not what happens. She is not merely a fallen Princess but a fallen human, little more than a shuffling husk that drifts through life; something barely recognisable as something which once championed the cause of the Light. Stripped of all drive she may just lie still until she starves, unable to see the point of eating. If she is pushed she will go about her life, she is too empty inside to say no, to say I hurt too much to do this. She is a hollow shell of a woman. Lacking the strength to fight for what she believes in, always folding at the least pressure, unable to even cry for help.

When a Princess becomes Belief 0, the final act that broke her Beliefs triggers a Denial Haunting. She gains the Willful Amnesia Condition: She forgets what destroyed her Belief and far more than that; she forgets the people who were hurt by it, she forgets her own complicity or failure to prevent the act, she even forgets what it means to be a Princess. For as long as this Haunting lasts; which at Belief 0 is Permanent, she cannot remember or access any of her powers from the Princess template. There are further effects than just a Huanting. Devoid of Belief the fallen Princess’ Inner Light begins to sputter and dim, the Princess suffers from the Fading Light Condition and the Suggestible Condition, both remain until she regains a dot of Belief.

It is in this state, this borrowed time that any salvation must come, because if she can raise her Belief back up to 1 before she loses all her dots of Willpower, she can cut free of the Shadows blotting out her soul, she will die peacefully in her sleep the next night. But no Princess can reignite her Belief alone, between the Haunting and her own lack of drive the Princess is prevented from confronting the problem. Her friends must force her to remember. This is not without risks, remembering is painful for a fallen Princess. At the end of every Scene where she faces her issue, if she still has Belief 0, roll Resolve + Composure. On a failure she loses another dot of Willpower. Bonuses may be given to the roll if herfriends made a good attempt to patch her together, and penalties may be applied if her enemies are forcing her to face such painful memories for their own nefarious purposes.

Just as a pause with the block of text, unless the player wishes to play a villainous PC or this is during the last throes of a game, once a Princess hits 0 Belief, they're essentially out of the game and can become a MacGuffin that the PCs need to protect.


If her friends wish to help her they must do so before she loses her last dot of Willpower, for when her Willpower reaches zero she will simply lie down and stop moving. Nothing but the most powerful magics can save a once-Princess from this state. Trapped within, her soul struggles in one last attempt to break free. Roll Resolve + Composure – Shadows. On a Successful roll the soul manages to escape, although will likely be suffering extreme amnesia of any past lives, for it is the least sliver. It will take hard work, and probably several lives to fully recover. On a Failure the soul is trapped, helpless, replacing Fading Light with the Tainted Shell Condition. She becomes the prize in a great battle between Light and Dark: The last fading remains of her Inner Light, so close to the Darkness, cannot help but attract he attentions of the Darkness itself. In turn its attempt to gain such a prize draws the attention of Princesses due to watchful scouts or prophetic dreams.

The desires of the Dark tie into the final, and most terrible option available to a fallen Princess: Acceptance. At any moment where someone has forcefully reminded her of what she is the Belief 0 Enlightened may choose, as an Instant action, to Transform despite her lack of a Phylactery. The Princess turns towards the Dark to fill the empty void where she once held her Light. She focuses on everything that hurt her, everything that went wrong in her life and focuses on the grief and bitterness they invoke, for in her deranged state even that is better than nothingness. The mad will of a Princess in this state is a terrible thing to behold. She laughs with pure grief, she cries tears of crystal clear despair. Her feelings echo around her, calling pure Taint up from the Dark World and shaping it into twisted reflections of her own life. She even calls the Taint into her own body, fuelling her final Transformation into a being drawn from the depths of her own nightmares.

There are many reasons to do this; a desperate need to escape a helpless body, a need for power for something that they cannot do in a mortal state, a desire to get back at the world, a refusal to accept that they are losing their mind, the belief that they deserve no better in their self-disgust, the fact that their “friends” have tied them up and look like they’re trying to shoot them in the head...

And a Transformation in this manner should not be possible. In a sense, it is impossible, for no Princess could do it, never take this Last Transformation, and don the mantle of the Dethroned. But those who do so are no longer among the Enlightened, they are no longer even human. They shed their mortal forms, as Darkness rushes into the void within them which the Light once filled, and are both wisted and empowered by this blasphemous process. They wear blackened crowns on monstrous heads; they are the Dethroned.

A General Progression of Belief.

Transformed Skills and Abilities
On that cheerful note, we hit that last section. When transformed, Transformed Skills and Attributes are added to your normal ones and derived traits like Speed and Willpower are adjusted accordingly. The added Health and Willpower are called Transformed Health and Transformed Willpower, respectively. Transformed Health operates at normal, and the health wraps around when returning to normal unless recovered using Holy Shield or some other method. Willpower points gained while Transformed can be recovered at any time after being spent. If mundane and transformed is spent, Mundane WP is recovered first. Sacrificed WP comes from Transformed Willpower points first. Finally, the maximum dots of Transformed Attributes and Skills gained is equal to Belief + Inner Light with Skill dots counting for a third. (Ex: A starting Princess has a Max of 8 Transformed dots so 4 Transformed Attribute dots and 12 Transformed Skill dots would be the max.)

There's a final sidebar about IC justifications of buying certain Skills and Transformed skills and such, but I won't bore you with that.

Final notes: Again, there's a crapton of conditions brought up in this section. I'm not sure how often other games hand them out, so it might be normal and I'm just not used to them. I'll probably make another interlude post explaining all of the conditions mentioned in this post so there's an actual explanation of the consequences. Also, there's still a bunch of typos in the text. It's not enough to be noticeable, but they get pointed out when I'm editing. I don't fix them in order to preserve their depiction and "respect" for the writers.

Dec 19, 2012
Princess: the Hopeful
As was elaborated in the previous post, there were a crapton of Conditions that one could gain as a result of their traits. In order to provide context to them without overloading the previous post, here they are on their own in their own short post. Punted this one quick because it was mostly copying and pasting.

Conditions from Hauntings
All of these conditions do not provide Beats and resolve at the end of the Haunting
Memories of Failure - At 2 successes. "After failing to prevent an act of cruelty your character has become obsessed with her inability to prevent it and other similar cruelties. Anyone who brings up your character's past failures adds her Shadows to any social roll intended to dishearten her."
Senseless Martyr - At 3 successes. "Your character is willing to offer herself as a victim in the forlorn hope that others might be left alone. She deducts her Shadows when rolling to contest any supernatural power or decreases a relevant attribute by Shadows when resisting a supernatural power."
Obsessive Vengeance - At 4 successes and not the perpetrator. "After witnessing horrors and cruelties your character is consumed with the thought, she cannot rest until she has set things right. If the perpetrator is present she mediately goes for him, otherwise she obsessively searches for the perpetrator. If your character wishes to do anything else she must succeed on a Resolve + Composure - Shadows roll." Akin to the Soft Rage in Idigam Chronicles
Pain Seeker - At 4 successes and the perpetrator. "Your character has personally committed an act of cruelty and dearly wishes to suffer for it. She obsessively seeks out the person she has wronged and tries to provoke them into a fight. Against whomever your character has wronged she reduces Defence by Shadows, including magical Defence and magical armour. Reduce magical armour first."
Abject Denial - At 5+ successes and not the perpetrator. "Your character witnessed an act of cruelty so terrible she refuses to accept such a thing is even possible. She must flee immediately from the perpetrator, the victim and any clear reminders of the crime and its results. If she is forced to confront them all rolls take a penalty of Shadows until she escapes the area."
Wilful Amnesia - At 5+ successes and the perpetrator. "Your character performed an act of cruelty so terrible she refuses admit or even remember she ever did such a thing. All memory of it is lost until this Condition is resolved and any attempt to force your character to acknowledge the truth takes a penalty equal to her Shadows." Probably not the worst condition all things considered.

Conditions from Compromise
Cracked Confidence - Succeeded on a Compromise roll. "Your character is verging on the edge of a Belief Compromise. Somebody who knows why can push her over the edge. Make a contested social roll with a the attackers' threshold being the Princesses' Belief + Composure and the Princess' being the attacker's dicepool. Roll once per turn, and if the attacker reaches the threshold first, make a Compromise roll." Resolutions include "Win or loose, Resolve the Condition after a contested social roll," Gain or Lose a dot of Belief, or the Princess deals with the issue.

Heavy Crown - Succeed or Fail on a Compromise roll. "Your character has failed the people who depend upon her and feels that she is no longer worthy to lead. She suffers a dice penalty to all actions where other people depend on her success. -1 for five people or less. -2 for six to 15 people. -3 for 16 to 45 people, -4 for 46 to 100 people and -5 for anything over 100." Resolutions: Succeeds or fails an important roll where people depended on her with at least as many as the original occasion or (as Persistent) the character and their people learn their value as a leader with their imperfections.

Self-Doubt - As Heavy Crown. "Your character has done something that shakes her confidence in herself. Emotions are magic, and her doubts are turning her own magic against her. Stripping her of the strength she does not believe she has. In any stressful situation your character cannot use her magical abilities (but keeps any that are already active) until she psyches herself up with a long speech about her ideals and beliefs. This requires an extended Resolve + Expression roll with a target of 8-Belief successes. One roll may be made per minute, or per turn if she uses the Royal Tongue." Resolution: the character psyches themselves up, (as Persistent) the character overcomes a similar problem, or (as Persistent) the character accomplishes a difficult or dangerous task.

Over-Compensatory Guilt - As above. "Your character has done something she feels guilty about, as a result she is attempting to counter her feelings by making amends in every way except addressing the real issue: If she stole something she might compulsively give charity, if she told a dangerous lie she might become compulsively honest." Resolutions: Suffer a hardship or gives up on something wanted through misplaced penance or (as Persistent) confess and make amends.

Shattered Confidence (Persistent)- Dramatic Failure. "Your character has completely lost her confidence in herself. Emotions are magic, and her lack of faith in her herself and her magic has become a self fulfilling prophecy. Your character cannot Transform, use Charms or Practical Magic. Even A Princess of Mirrors will be limited to her mundane identity." Beat: The character is harmed or fails a significant goal because of their lack of magic. Resolution: Gain a dot of Belief

Dissociation (Persistent) - Dramatic Failure. "Your character did something so terrible that she refuses to accept it. Instead she separates her two identities, using one to shield the other. Every time the Princess transforms into her guilty identity (whichever one committed the act) lose one point of Willpower. In addition neither identity are able to remember what they did while in the other identity." Beat: The character gets into trouble because they couldn't remember something (presumably from the other identity). Resolution: Admit to the crime and make amends or gain a dot of Belief.

Abdicated (Persistent) - Dramatic Failure. "Your character has been crushed by the weight of her crown, so she has taken it of. She refuses to believe that she is a Princess. She might accept that she used to be a Princess but she might refuse to believe that Princesses or magic even exist, referring to it as a childish game or an urban legend. Until she reclaims her crown your Character cannot Transform, use Bequests or Practical Magic. She still suffers from Sensitivity though." Beat: Suffer significant hardship due to lack of magic or they ail to further an Aspiration or Dream because they lack magic. Resolution: Confront and overcome the trauma, perform an act of heroism that reaffirms their desire to help, or gain a dot of Belief.

Madness - Dramatic Failure. I assume it's in another book since it's not in here.

Conditions from Belief 0
Wilful Amnesia - Upon hitting Belief 0.

Fading Light - Upon hitting Belief 0. "Your character has lost her last shreds of hope. Without hope her Inner Light begins to fade away. She cannot regain Willpower though sleep, and loses a dot of Willpower every week." Resolution: Regain a dot of Belief and will soon die peacefully as a result, become a Dethroned, or run out of Willpower and roll Resolve+Composure-Shadows with a Success allowing the Princess's soul escape and a Failure replacing this condition with Tainted Shell

Suggestible (Persistent)- Upon hitting Belief 0. "Your character has entered a fugue state where she will follow any instructions given for she lacks the willpower or initiative to do otherwise. For the same reason she will follow her instructions in a literal and uncreative fashion. Blatantly suicidal or heinous orders are ignored, when multiple people are ordering someone around the most recent order takes precedent." Beat: Do something against their interests because they were asked. Resolution: Depends on how they got there. In this case, they exit when Fading Light resolves.

Tainted Shell - Fail the roll from Fading Light. "Your character has lost all her hope and all her Willpower. She lacks the will to do anything, even to move. Without constant help she will starve to death." Resolution: Die or embrace despair. I'm not sure why this needs to be a Condition.

One other Condition was mentioned is Running on Fumes. "A Princess' magic is her hopes, beliefs and emotions given form. Your character has used up all her magic, she hasn't lost her emotions but she is out of fuel and running on fumes. It's an uncomfortable situation, but thankfully a temporary one. When adding Willpower to a dicepool you only get +2 instead of +3, in addition you take a -2 penalty on rolls that depend upon your emotions. Typically this covers making emotional connections with people, expressing yourself and enjoying works of art. Wisp regeneration rolls and Charms are unaffected (the lack of Wisps already covers the effects on magical ability)." Beats: Fail a roll because of this condition (roll the missing dice to see if the condition was the cause). Resolution: Have more than 10-Belief Wisps.

So yeah. Hauntings suck. Hitting Belief 0 is bizarre and also essentially an extended character death. Low Belief also sucks. Despair seems to be truly a slippery slope since enemies with social ability can start chatting away at the Princess about their failures and make them fall faster.

Next: X and Y splats with Stereotypes of Leviathans and Geniuses, but not Demons.

Jul 19, 2012

by Fluffdaddy

Tatum Girlparts posted:

Gnome-Titan Fighters have the potential for a lot of fun. Pixie-Fairie thief is pretty great too.

My group has a genuine, unironic, love for Hackmaster, it's got some clunk in there and yea 4e hid waaaay too far behind 'no it's a joke see' but there's this really good blend of actual love for old style D&D and also an utter contempt for many of the kinds of players old style D&D forged.

Also, while it's not F&F material really (I don't think) the 5th ed monster manual is probably one of my absolute favorite monster books period. It has the normal stat blocks, then it has a quick reference 'stat rose' with all the important stuff (DR, attack bonus, etc) and even a block for Monster Hunter style harvesting the corpse including medical, edible, and just straight up trophy 'loot' along with the obvious 'dragons have mad gold' stuff. Plus there's little asides from 'experts' for fluff and little details like pictures of tracks and poo poo. This is what I mean when I say there's actual love for the product, these dudes are clearly 100% into their concept and that's just really important in these heartbreaker type things.

It's actually pretty awesome, except the orc parts where they specify that they 'brutally rape' women, and that they'll die if you rescue them.

sexpig by night
Sep 8, 2011

by Azathoth

Fsmhunk posted:

It's actually pretty awesome, except the orc parts where they specify that they 'brutally rape' women, and that they'll die if you rescue them.

I super blocked that out I guess, gross as gently caress.

Jul 19, 2012

by Fluffdaddy

Tatum Girlparts posted:

I super blocked that out I guess, gross as gently caress.

Where the hell did the 'orcs do lots of rape' thing come from anyway? At least Warhammer is free of such taint.

Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Fsmhunk posted:

Where the hell did the 'orcs do lots of rape' thing come from anyway? At least Warhammer is free of such taint.

Orcs hating other stocks, other stocks hating orcs, and half-orcs still being a thing, I think.


Dec 22, 2003

To witness titanic events is always dangerous, usually painful, and often fatal.

Fsmhunk posted:

Where the hell did the 'orcs do lots of rape' thing come from anyway? At least Warhammer is free of such taint.
I think the REAL root, other than the general "savage brutes" business, is a throwaway remark in Tolkien where Elrond's wife got captured by orcs and tormented in some way that made her decide to bail from Middle Earth very shortly after being freed.

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